Marian Dinner serves young women a taste of religious life

Sister of Charity of Nazareth Marie Flowers, left; Rosa Luna, center, a freshman at Marian University and parishioner of St. Rita Church; and Holly Ray, a sophomore at Sacred Heart Academy and parishioner of Guardian Angels Church, listened to Benedictine Sister Cathy Bauer discuss her perspective on life. (Record Photo by Jessica Able)

Sister of Charity of Nazareth Marie Flowers, left; Rosa Luna, center, a freshman at Marian University and parishioner of St. Rita Church; and Holly Ray, a sophomore at Sacred Heart Academy and parishioner of Guardian Angels Church, listened to Benedictine Sister Cathy Bauer discuss her perspective on life. (Record Photo by Jessica Able)

By Jessica Able, Record Staff Writer

An intimate midday gathering for young women to get to know women religious began with prayer and included a shared meal and a discussion about religious life.

The Marian Dinner — hosted by the Archdiocese of Louisville’s Vocation Office — took place Feb. 26 at St. Patrick Church in Eastwood. It was open to high school and college-age young women and provided a opportunity to learn more about religious life.

The purpose of the gathering is two fold, said Sister Sarah Yungwirth, associate director for vocations.

“First it’s to increase the awareness of the possibility of religious vocations for women,” she said. “And, to expose (the young women) to joyful, prayerful religious women. It’s a chance for them to come together to meet sisters serving in the Archdiocese of Louisville.”

Six religious communities were represented at the dinner, including the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth; Little Sisters of the Poor; Dominican Sisters of St. Cecelia; Ursuline Sisters of Mount St. Joseph; Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand, Ind.; and Sisters of St. Benedict, Covington, Ky.

The event at St. Patrick was the second of two Marian dinners held recently. The first was Dec. 9 at the Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral in Bardstown, Ky.

Following a shared meal, Benedictine Sister of Covington, Ky., Cathy Bauer gave a short presentation titled “Life is a garden.”

“I’m looking at life more as a garden instead of a path. We hear a lot about a path in our life but, really, God gave us a garden,” she said.

Just as Adam and Eve were tasked to tend the Garden of Eden, Sister Bauer said, God calls everyone to tend the garden of their life.

She recalled the first chapter in the Gospel of Luke when Mary told the angel Gabriel: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”

Sister Bauer said, “We have to pray those words on a regular basis. ‘Let it be done to me according to the will of God.’ ”

She asked the young women to consider what their own garden looks like, what “their space for God” looks like.

“Where is God calling you today? What do you hear in the garden?” she asked.

There was a chance for follow-up questions and table discussion following Sister Bauer’s talk.

The Vocation Office will also host a “High School Nun Run” May 12 and 13. During the 24-hour event, high-school age young women may visit the homes or convents of women religious. For more information, call Sister Yungwirth at 636-0296, ext. 1270.

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