Sister Beatrice LaFramboise has been a Sister of Providence for 45 years and is presently doing vocation ministry for her community. Sister Beatrice visits Catholic schools, youth and young adult conventions and rallies to share about the life of Catholic sisters today. She also has a deep care and love of ministry to the homeless and those in need.
This year I have been visiting with a group of Jesuit Volunteers. Last August I drove a van to Portland, Ore., to attend the last day of the Jesuit Volunteers training program. Christine Still, OSF, a Franciscan Sister of Philadelphia who lives in Tacoma, drove a car as well to meet all the brand-new Jesuit Volunteers of the Northwest.
Between the two sister drivers, we brought eight Jesuit Volunteers to Seattle. The other eight volunteers were able to get other rides.
We were able to witness their missioning service, wishing the Jesuit Volunteers Godspeed in their work, and the farewell dinner to send them off.
There are two houses for Jesuit Volunteers in Seattle, Mercy House and Cherry Abbey. Once a month Sister Christine and I are invited to Mercy House for a potluck dinner and sharing time. The volunteers have many questions for us and we have many questions for them about their life commitments to community and service.
Recently, I received a call from the volunteers from Mercy House asking if they could spend the day with me at my house in the Sisters of Providence community.
The members of our house were delighted to attend Mass with the Jesuit Volunteers at St. Joseph Parish on Thanksgiving Day. Four out of the eight Jesuit volunteers from Mercy House came to the home that I share with other Sisters of Providence to make breakfast and just hang out for a few hours.
Since many of them are from back East, they wanted to make connections with their families, so I learned a little more about technology. I was able to meet some of their families through Skype. That evening I went to Mercy House for their first Thanksgiving dinner together. They each took pride in making one of their favorite dishes. For grace, we went around the table to share one blessing we had received.
It is a blessing for me to see these young people alive with passion for the poor and willingness to form and live community. I am learning so much more about the many agencies with which they are involved. This is usually a one-year volunteer experience. I pray that they will continue to listen to their call and respond, perhaps in a religious community where we live together, pray together and challenge each other in how to live out our charism while balancing our lives.