Some time ago, a recent convert plaintively wrote on a blog: “I never heard of the word ‘charism’ before I became a Catholic and now it is everywhere I turn. What does it mean?”
One way of finding out, of course, is to go to a dictionary. There we find that charism is a theological term describing a gift of God to individual Christians for the good of others. Or that religious orders use the words to describe any special characteristics of their mission and values that is the gift of their vows to serve God and God’s creation.
Our convert, we imagine, nodded her head and said, “Well, I suppose I can agree with that, but what does it mean to you as Sisters of St. Agnes?” Sister Mary Mollison answered the query at the community’s recent Founders Day celebration:
Our heritage calls us to a missionary zeal for nurturing the seed of faith and a pastoral concern
for those whose faith life or human dignity is threatened.
The spirit of our founders challenges us to respond to life with wholeheartedness and joy, to
manifest unassuming simplicity in all our relationships, and to receive with genuine hospitality
all who come to us. (Constitutions #4 & #5)
As Sisters of St. Agnes, our charism and heritage is a desire to serve God’s people with simplicity and love. We are grateful for it.