Saturday, June 9, 2012

Agregee Vow Ceremony in Concordia Kansas

Sr. Kathy Schaefer, Agregee and Sr. Marcia Allen, Concordia CSJ President

Today Kathy Schaefer made her initial commitment as an agregee in the Concordia Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph.  She told me that she was amazed with the peace that has come over her (she was a nervous wreck yesterday).  She said the best advice she got in preparing for this day was to just be herself.

I met Kathy last year when she and I both attended the “Falling in Love for a Lifetime” program in Concordia.  I had just recently learned of the Agregee program that is functioning in both Concordia and Springfield.  At mealtime sharing and in classes, Kathy helped me begin to get a feel for what being an agregee is about.  However, I also began to realize that it is an evolving way of relating to the charism and mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph- so it really is hard to describe to anyone.
So meet Kathy Schaefer.  She works with the elderly and you don’t talk with her for very long before you realize that what she does is much more than a job.  This is a woman on a mission.  She is joyful, incredibly funny but also has a serious side too.  I get the sense that she is a real presence where ever she is.  She feels drawn to the call of unioning love and exemplifies zeal and compassion in her everyday life.  About becoming an agregee, Kathy says, “I am more aware of the importance of my physical and attentive presence to the people I work with in the nursing home and the small rural community I live in.”
Today in a simple ceremony with a mass she became an agregee sister.  Her life is now more deeply entwined with the Concordia Sisters of St. Joseph.  One of the readings that seem to strike an emotional cord with all present was from Samuel. “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” 
  Also making vows today as an agregee was Lorren Harbin.  When asked about today’s commitment Lorren said, “The call is so mysterious.  If you hear the call take it.  The journey is spectacular.

  Lorren and Kathy make their vows

I am at a rest stop driving home to St. Louis.  So I will share more tomorrow.
This summer  on our new website, which will be up and running at our old website address in mid-June,  I will present a more in-depth explanation of the agregee programs and their historic origins at  our foundiation in Le Puy

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