The following is the first in a series of interviews with Visitation Companions -- a lay community committed to the ministry of the Visitation through prayer, Salesian study and service.
The Call to Companionship
Q: In a few words, what inspired your call to become a Companion to the Visitation Sisters of Minneapolis?
Heidi: I love the vision and mission of the Visitation Sisters and wanted
a tangible way to be involved.
Being a Companion offered me a way
to invest in the community of North Minneapolis, grow in Salesian Spirituality, and be mentored
by the Visitation Sisters’ life.
Q: What is your favorite saying or teaching of St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal?
Heidi: I am inspired by the concept of gentleness-gentleness towards self and gentleness towards others.
Q: What does the word, “service” mean to you?
Heidi: Service is giving of myself to other people, causes, and missions. It is intentionally moving beyond my own agenda into the agenda of others.
Q: What images of your service come to mind?
Heidi: Learning from the Sister’s wisdom and being in their presence. Advocating for North Minneapolis and the Visitation’s vision of presence to the neighborhood. Bringing ideas and a listening to others on the St Jane House committee. Celebrating Mass with the Sister’s. Planting sunflower seeds. Really seeing people who have their lives on the Northside.
Q: What is the setting for a recent experience of your service?
Heidi: I am at the St Jane house with two other Vis Companions and one of the sisters, we are sitting around a table. We are relaxed in the shared knowledge of the Salesian charisms and our ideas for the St Jane house and it’s mission.
Gifts, Challenges, and Salesian Aspects of Service.
Q: What gifts do you bring to your service?
Heidi: A different generation of experience, a wide variety of connections, networking abilities, and joy in meeting together.
Q: What challenges have you encountered while serving?
Heidi: Not always having the energy to bring more the table and not always having enough space in my personal life from which to give.
Q: What gifts do you receive from serving?
Heidi: Relationships with people that I would otherwise not encounter-hands down that is the best gift.
Q: Where have you found God in your experience of serving?
Heidi: In others-I encounter the living God working and breathing in other people’s lives, sometimes by their actions and sometimes by their words.
Q: What aspects of Salesian spirituality were reflected or manifested in this service experience?
Heidi: Humility in learning from others, seeing the innate dignity in other people, being present with who I am with others doing the same, enjoying a sense of humor with others, and having grace for self in judgment-and challenging myself to grow in my weakness.