The Call to vocation is different for each of us. Spirituality is about a relationship with God and a desire to deepen this relationship and live it out in the reality of everyday life. The call to vocation involves and engages us at the very depth of our being and directs our energies and actions towards what is of ultimate value: the person of Jesus and the values of the Gospel lived out in the Church.
For some, the call to vocation for a consecrated life may be an outward yearning to lead an active life of service to others. For others, the call may be an inward journey to help heal the world and its people through silence and prayer. Good Shepherd has two lifestyles: the apostolic for outward service to others and the contemplative for ministry support through prayer.
As you discern your call to vocation, perhaps you would like to know more about us and our interior life. Sisters of the Good Shepherd are driven by a vow of zeal. Our work is of God and our mission is one of reconciliation. We strive to model our lives after the heart of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, who left the flock of 99 to respond to the one sheep in special need.
Our mission is to participate with others in revealing God’s compassionate and merciful love for all humanity and creation. We do this by promoting the spirit of our core values: zeal, reconciliation, mercy and the dignity of the human person.
Our world today offers many challenges to us all. All around us we see economic imbalance, political corruption, social violence and destruction of the earth. We are caught up in a global economy where competitive economic forces foster materialism and consumerism, which result in oppression, injustice and inequality. Worldwide, people are forced to move — refugees, asylum-seekers, migrant workers and those trafficked for the sex industry or unskilled labor.
As we listen to God’s Word and to humanity’s cries of suffering, we pray for a world that nurtures compassion and reconciliation. And while we acknowledge these and other negative world realities, we also see signs of hope. Communication and technology easily link one part of the world with the other. There is growing desire for genuine community and an increasing awareness of peace and justice issues that move many to be involved in justice initiatives. There is an increased hunger for spirituality, for meaning in life and transcendence.
Our mission of helping others to transform their lives and to follow the transforming journey of becoming fully human — of being a compassionate, loving, and reconciling presence in our relationships, especially with those in vulnerable situations — is thrilling and rewarding.
If you are feeling a call to vocation and are a spiritual warrior with the heart of a Good Shepherd, we want to meet you.
Baltimore community welcomes Lydia to Come and See
Lydia is a 20-year-old college student who is studying at Elizabeth Town College in Pennsylvania. Her major is Psychology with a minor in Spanish. Lydia requested a “Come and See” retreat during her spring break, and the Sisters in Baltimore were generous in welcoming her from March 8-11, 2017.
Lydia participated in the life of the community through prayer, liturgy, recreation and meals. She was able to hear Sisters tell their vocation story of how they received the “Call.” She also witnessed our Sisters working in outreach programs and sponsored ministries. The Sisters expressed gratitude for being with Lydia and found her to be a delightful young woman.
It is truly a grace to provide spiritual accompaniment and discernment for young adults seeking a call to vocation and God’s dream in their lives. Lydia said, “You have been very helpful on my vocation journey and that to me is a wonderful service.”
Renewed in spirit: discerning a call to vocation
Twenty-year-old Maria Oscilowski feels a call to vocation. She visited Sisters in the San Francisco Community from December 27 – 29, 2016. Maria attends John Paul the Great Catholic University in San Diego, where she has entered her Junior year in pursuit of studies in screenwriting.
Maria reflected on her visit with the Sisters:
“Staying with the Good Shepherd Sisters has helped me consider my vocation in a deeper, more meaningful way. I was blessed to be able to converse with the Sisters and hear their stories. They’ve given me a lot to think about.
“I am also very thankful to have had the opportunity to visit some of the Sisters’ workplaces, as this gave me perspective on my own life that I would have otherwise missed. From this visit, I learned that there are so many blessings that I take for granted every day.
“Renewed in spirit, I will continue to discern my vocation and what I am called to do every day,” Maria said.
Sharing the Flame
By Simona Botezatu, Discerner
Since Sr. Jean Marie Fernandez asked me to write about my experience during the Province Assembly in August, I had been praying for the wisdom and remembrance of all I had seen, shared and learned in a way that I could genuinely and joyfully share with you the same flame that I had been blessed with. My visit with the Sisters of the Good Shepherd was a refreshing, renewing and confirming moment that I have been yearning for a while.
Going as a humble pilgrim
From the moment I arrived at King’s House Retreat and Renewal Center in Belleville, Illinois, until my departure a couple of days later, I was welcomed and surrounded by an extraordinary group of faithful, joyful and dedicated religious women, mission partners and wonderful and breathe-taking surroundings in nature.
Contrary to my curious and inquiring nature, I went to the assembly with no agenda or expectation. I was traveling to this event as a humble pilgrim in my quest for learning, listening, growing and searching for that missing piece that has been with me since I felt the call to follow Christ. My sole purpose at the assembly was to Be … to learn and be open to the spirit of discerning where God is inviting and transforming me.
Throughout the assembly I was amazed and touched by each and every sharing that took place in small and larger groups. Everybody had a voice. Everybody was listened to and respected. Moreover, everybody was offered the opportunity to go deeper to the core of our unique and common call to search and find that common vocation.
Key words and mantras that I was left with made me realize once again the power of one summed by the power of many. Words such as: “love of God,” “love for everybody,” “justice,” “inclusion,” “prayer,” “heritage,” “sanctity,” “acceptance,” “reconciliation” and “reverence.”
These words strengthen and confirm more and more the idea that what this group of religious women and lay people have been praying with, ministering for and lived by their whole lives are, in fact, the same values that I believe in and want to be a part of me and demonstration of how I live out my life.
The sharing, liturgy and companionship from the assembly imprinted in me a profound desire to continue on a deeper level to discern and journey with the Sisters of the Good Shepherd.
All I can say since attending the assembly is that this is what I want to be and become. This is what calls me to follow Christ. These are the people that I want to serve, for this is where my heart is.
As a word of gratitude, I would like to express my sincere thanks to all of the Sisters and Mission Partners who made this event so real and profound for me. Thank you!
Come and See
Simona participated in a Come and See weekend October 9-12, 2015 when she visited our Sisters and ministries in San Francisco to further help her discern a vocation calling with Sisters of the Good Shepherd. She is now living with the San Francisco community to further discern her calling.