About Vocation Sunday

As Church Recognizes Vocation Sunday, an SHCJ Jubilarian Reflects on Her Calling

Vocation Sunday is April 25

BRYN MAWR, PA — When Therese Currie began her Candidacy as a Sister with the Society of the Holy Child Jesus (SHCJ) in the late 1940s, her parents planned a special surprise for her and her brother…an airplane trip from Philadelphia to Washington D.C. “My parents weren’t sure I would have a chance to fly or travel once I began my Novitiate with the SHCJ,” said Theresa. However, more than 60 years ago Therese, who goes by Tese, began a personal journey that propelled her to perform God’s work locally, across the United States and around the globe. Sister Tese’s calling sprang from the joy and happiness she experienced when carrying out the mission of SHCJ. Sixty years later, as Sister Tese continues to live in accordance with the Society’s motto of “Actions Not Words,” the joy is still evident. She believes that she was extremely fortunate to have heard the calling and responded to it. Not all who are called recognize their vocation. Vocation Sunday, April 25, is about praying for those who will be called, as well as for those who have accepted and are living their vocations.

Corsage or Convent
Sister Tese’s early memories are happy ones…loving parents, a close family, an accomplished student, many friends, even a boyfriend. “I was so thankful to have so much, but I knew something was missing,” she said. In fact, she even remembers when that realization overwhelmed her. “My boyfriend arrived at my house with a lovely corsage that I was to wear to a dance that evening. God had given me so much, but I knew there was another road to true happiness.”

Cornelia Connelly, founder of the SHCJ once said, “The invitation comes from God, and to Him you must give your answer. Don’t talk about what you are going to do for God, but reflect on what God is doing for you.” Sister Tese had her answer. Her path to happiness would be with the SHCJ, serving in a variety of educational, pastoral, social and spiritual ministries. For 60 years Sister Tese’s journey has presented her with challenges, opportunities and joy, but most importantly, a way to permit God to inspire her to work on behalf of others.

Listening to Silence
When asked how she heard the calling, Sister Tese responded, “I listened.” Growing up in a Catholic atmosphere, Sister Tese believed that she was prepared to use the information she had learned to change the course of her life. But how can those whose backgrounds are not as rich in religious training open their hearts and minds to the call? Sister Tese believes that these individuals may need to work a bit harder to listen and decipher the message above the din of daily life. Meaning is often found in silence and it is when the noise ends that the message unfolds.

Congratulating the SHCJ Jubilarians
In connection with Vocation Sunday, SHCJ congratulates the 2010 Jubilarians on the outstanding contributions they have made to the Society and their many years of service.

Celebrating remarkable service of 70 or more years are:

  • Sr. Roberta Dougherty, Rosemont, PA, 75 years
  • Sr. Marie Kathryn Naab, Rosemont, PA, 70 years

The sisters recognized for 60 years of service are:

  • Sr. Barbara Mullen, South Pasadena, CA
  • Sr. Jacqueline Jelley, Washington DC
  • Sr. Mary Owen O’Gorman, Rye, NY
  • Sr. Megan Rice, Las Vegas, NV
  • Sr. Veronica Grover, Matthews, NC
  • Sr. Muriel Ratigan of Rosemont, PA
  • Sr. Theresa O’Donnell, Rosemont, PA
  • Sr. Therese Currie, Bryn Mawr, PA.

And, 50 year celebrants include:

  • Sr. Carlotta Bartone, Bryn Mawr, PA
  • Sr. Lucy Malarkey, Pasadena, CA
  • Sr. Margaret Doyle, San Diego, CA
  • Sr. Virginia Gaine, Concord, MA

About Vocation Sunday
The Fourth Sunday of Easter is Good Shepherd Sunday. Pope Paul VI designated Good Shepherd Sunday as a World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Pope Benedict XVI, in his message for this day, encourages “faith in the divine initiative,” which should lead to fervent prayer for vocations, as well as inspire the human response of trusting self-abandonment to the shepherd who calls.