The Leadership Team for Companions of Jesus the Good Shepherd attend an art opening at Good Shepherd Gallery during the Companions bi-annual gathering in St. Louis.
Companions of Jesus the Good Shepherd take vows and lead a consecrated life in our own homes and work environments. We are self-supporting. Committed to the Good Shepherd mission, we take private vow(s) and renew them each year.
Companions have the option to either take the vow of Zeal alone or to also take any of the other vows that Sisters profess: poverty, chastity and obedience, based on the call each of us feels. We strive, in every situation and relationship, to personally witness to Good Shepherd’s core values of mercy, zeal, reconciliation and the value of each individual person that our charism calls us to.
Companions gather for retreat every two years
The Companions gather for retreat every two years at the Province Center in St. Louis. The retreats feed our spirituality and provide an opportunity for us to gather as Community to catch up with one another on our lives. The gatherings also bring us together to handle the group’s administrative functions and plan for the future.
We covered a lot of turf during this year’s retreat, which ran from August 3-5. We ratified our revised Constitution, created a brochure, updated our membership list, discussed making charitable donations and explored ideas for promoting group cohesion and support. We also began the important process of documenting and archiving our history. We renewed our vows during mass, conducted a memorial service for deceased Companions and attended an artist reception and art opening at Good Shepherd Gallery (see page 8) in Ferguson.
The Companions joyfully welcome Catholic women who feel drawn to the Good Shepherd mission and spirituality. Bernie Bates, who has been a Companion for 32 years, said, “My spiritual life has grown a lot through my love for the other Companions. I have also grown very close to the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. I love seeing the Sisters at our retreats and thank God for their willingness to share with us their lives and how God’s love keeps them going forward.”
The process of becoming a Companion of Jesus the Good Shepherd usually takes about three years. During this time a personal mentor familiarizes each Companion with the Good Shepherd spirit and mission, including what living the vows might mean in one’s daily life and situation. Mentors help Companions understand the works of the Order’s founders Saints John Eudes and Mary Euphrasia, and guides the Companions as they pursue a deepening relationship of love with Jesus the Good Shepherd.
“Being a Companion sustains my spiritual sanity. Shepherding and being shepherded is such an intricate and intimate part of my life. I am so very grateful for it,” said Mary DeSane.
To learn more about becoming a Companion, please contact Veronica Brantz at email@example.com, or contact Alice Caulson at firstname.lastname@example.org.