Year of Consecrated Life Activities

Join with us as we conclude a year celebrating the dedicated service to God’s people of women and men religious in the Diocese of San Jose. Prayer Service will be held on January 30, 2016. Below is the first page of the flyer. Click here to view the description and date of the events.  

IMG_2076RELIGIOUS AND SEMINARIANS DIALOGUE  — Pictured left to right: Rosalie Pizzo, SND, Molly Neville, SNJM, Father Gladstone Stevens, S.S., Dee Myers, BVM, Top Row: Elizabeth Avalos, BVM, David Betz, SM, Gillian Wallace

Sponsored by the Council of Religious of the Diocese of San Jose, Partners in Mission and Ministry, a committee of laity, religious and clergy, were called together to plan ways of celebrating the Year of Consecrated Life. As one of the final events, a panel presentation was hosted by Saint Patrick’s Seminary & University. The hope of the panel was to further awareness among the seminarians about Religious, their service in the past and the many and varied ways they continue to serve the church today.

To begin the day, Father Gladstone Stevens, S.S., Rector of Saint Patrick’s Seminary, invited the panelists to liturgy and breakfast. Following this, the seminarians gathered to listen to the panelists share their ministerial experiences and their hopes for future collaboration with them after ordination.

Sister Rosalie Pizzo, SND, Bishop’s Delegate to Religious, expressed gratitude to Father Gladstone for welcoming the panel to their place of priestly formation. Reiterating the message of Pope Francis to Religious, “Wake up the world and reflect the joy of a faithful yes”, assured seminarians that the panelists would give convincing testimony to these words.

Gillian Wallace, Faculty member at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont. Gillian is in discernment to become a Sister of Notre Dame. She shared her struggle of accepting God’s call to religious life and her peacefulness once she decided to begin the formal process of discernment. Gillian’s attraction to religious life includes her desire to be in community with others doing meaningful work for the church.

Sister Molly Neville, SNJM, Director of Associates for the Sisters of the Holy Names. Sister Molly shared her experiences as Vocation Director for the Diocese of Monterey. Her present ministries include spiritual direction, retreat facilitator and presenter at workshops. Her sharing reflected great hope and anticipation of working with the men in discernment as they look toward priesthood.

Brother David Betz, SM, Activity Director at the Marianist Retirement Center in Cupertino and works with the Marianist Affiliates in the Pacific. . Brother David spoke about his vocation as a Brother which he explained was not a stepping stone to priesthood, but the culmination of his discernment to become a Religious. He spoke about the admiration he has for Women Religious who have provided leadership in their service to the poor.

Sister Dee Myers, BVM, Spiritual Director and prayer leader at burial services. Sister Dee told of her time as Pastoral Associate at Saint Mathias Parish in Redwood City as well as her many years as educator in segregated Tennessee and with Catholic Charities outreach program to pregnant teens in New York. Her energy in sharing memories of years of service gave witness to that same passion she had many years ago

Sister Elizabeth Avalos, BVM, Facilitator of groups on issues of nonviolence, JustFaith, and human trafficking. Sister Elizabeth is former Coordinator of Associates and spoke of the growing Associate Movement which provides lay women and men the opportunity to deepen their spiritual lives and engage in social justice activities with Religious. Sister Elizabeth’s passion for works of justice was obvious to all.

After the large group presentation, the panel members and the seminarians formed small groups where they engaged in a lively mutual exchange of questions, concerns and experiences of serving the church in ministry today.

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