“You are divinely made and called to Love! You are blessed!”
There are liturgies that are especially inspiring to me as a catholic; and there are Eucharistic celebrations that not only buoy who I am in my faith, but restore me on a level, and remind me exactly why I am where I am in my journey as a spiritual being on this planet. Saturday’s service in the park, honoring Sr. Katherine Mullin in her 50th year as a Visitation Sister, was just such a liturgical experience. I was fed by the Word broken open by Fr. Michael O’Connell; by this sister’s witness to her faith and life as a nun renewing her vows; and the shared wonder of a faith community coming together in this particular place.
Tune into the Visitation Sisters’ YouTube Channel:
VIDEO OF SR. KATHERINE MULLIN’s 50th JUBILEE:
We gathered under the trees on a glorious summer day at North Commons’ Park in north Minneapolis. There, in jarring proximity to the location of the recent murder of 14 year old Quantell Braxton, (a spot in which Sr. Katherine and I prayed three days prior;) a few hundred friends, family members and former students of Sr. Katherine convened. In my mind it was a claiming of the fullness of life and love, death and resurrection, and our collective vocations as we celebrated mass in that space.
“[W]e are all called; there is not a hierarchy of blessedness, but a universal invitation of Love to be powerfully who God made us to be and, as St. Francis de Sales says, “be that well.”
Sr. Katherine began by welcoming us all, underscoring the various factions of folks present and hailing from the decades of her life. She greeted her siblings, Visitation Mendota and Minneapolis sisters, classmates, her mom’s best friend, Kaye, (who was 95!), the young women who are discerning religious vocations, neighbors, and all who she calls friends . It took me to my own place in the congregation, claiming my role as Visitation Companion, woman of faith, and fellow vocations partner.
In Sr. Katherine’s address to us, her choice of readings, and Fr. O’Connell’s homily, there was a through-line, a message of invitation and shared vocational blessing. Fr. Michael underscored this most powerfully for me, as he reflected on the selected scripture and stated clearly: we are all called; there is not a hierarchy of blessedness, but a universal invitation of Love to be powerfully who God made us to be and, as St. Francis de Sales says, “be that well.”
Father reflected on his shared journey as a religious peer of Sr. Katherine’s, weaving humor and personal touches into his homily. (“We double dated, didn’t we Sr. Katherine? Shhhhh.. don’t tell anyone.”) He spoke about the evolution of vocational callings within in the catholic church over the past 50 years, moving from a culture of rules and fear (where we have to “prove” our worthiness), to one of spirit and love, where we know we are divinely made, beyond any devout actions we take. Whew! His homily really moved this lay woman, reminding me of my own calling, and inspiring me to look around and smile at each and every person present. “You are divinely made and called to Love! You are blessed!” I got to do this and celebrate the person who so beautifully has modeled vocation and religious life: Sr. Katherine Mullin!
The conclusion of the service was marked with a beautiful symbol of Spirit, fidelity, faithfulness, as fifty doves were released in honor of Sr. Katherine’s fifty years as a Visitation Sister. What a sight to behold!