Sr. Marilyn Kerber, SNDdeN
100 East Eighth Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
(513) 421-3131 ext. 2865
Word from the Director:
Presently (November 2016) there are approximately 985 women and men religious (priests – 183; brothers – 105 and sisters – 697) representing 50 different religious orders of women (32) and men (12) living, ministering and praying in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Meet some of them at cincinnativocations.org – Culture of Vocations.
The director acts as a liaison between the archbishop and the religious congregations of men and women in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Networks among religious congregations regarding personal and corporate needs; maintains sponsorship of programs of the office; initiates collaborative efforts among congregations; provides consultation for individual religious and major superiors. Serves as coordinator of Retirement Fund for Religious.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
A person’s name is important. We like our name spelled correctly, be it Ann or Anne or Carol or Carole. It’s affirming when someone remembers our name. We name Congregations, Buildings and Offices which are meant to identify their purpose in most instances. It dawned gradually that the name, Office of Religious, no longer described the function of the Office well. Pope Francis declared 2015 The Year of Consecrated Life. In late October an International Meeting for Episcopal Vicars and Delegates for Consecrated Life was held in Rome. The Archdiocese of Cincinnati now has two Public Associations of the Faithful, The Children of Mary and Regnum Christi; a Consecrated Virgin Living in the World, a woman in formation and an inquirer; a member of a Secular Institute and discerns with women and men who may wish to make a Private Vow. Archbishop Schnurr approved the name change (Office for Consecrated Life) on November 29th. It will take some time to implement the change.
How would you describe God’s Loving presence in your life?
Pope Francis’ motto, Miserando atque eligendo, “by having mercy and by choosing,” puzzled many. But Jorge Mario Bergoglio recounted that at the age of seventeen, on September 21, 1953, the feast of Saint Matthew, he experienced the loving presence of God in his life and sensed the mercy of God calling him to religious life. Francis’ motto is found in a homily by Saint Bede the Venerable read in the liturgy of the hours on Saint Matthew’s day: “So Jesus saw the publican [Matthew], and because he looked upon him by having mercy and the by choosing, he said to him ‘Follow me’” (Matt 9:9).
The translation is meant to provoke reflection. “He looked upon him by having mercy and by choosing.” There are different kinds of looking: a looking that is indifferent: staring at the floor; or a looking that is also seeking: the shelves of a bookstore. St. Bede suggests still another kind of looking: one that communicates and Elects. We need to imagine the gaze of Christ, God made man. It is a powerful gaze: Christ’s looking acts upon me. From his eyes I experience mercy. By sin I am in debt. Mercy forgives that debt and wipes out what I cannot repay.
But further: “and choosing.” For Matthew sitting at the tax office, Christ’s gaze chooses and elects him. Perhaps the young Jorge experienced that same gaze.
Father Joseph T. Lienhard, SJ found in Magnificat Year of Mercy Companion, page 414