Missioning: Sent to Serve the Lord and One Another
On Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto, along with the CSJ Associates, gathered in Morrow Park chapel to be "missioned." Each year on the feast of St. Joseph, the Sisters renew their vows of chastity, poverty and obedience; this renewal is a reminder of who they are. The annual missioning ceremony is a reminder of what they do.
To be missioned is to be sent. At the end of each mass, participants are all sent "to love and serve the Lord and one another." The more formal missioning of the Sisters is a sending forth by the Congregational Leader, Sister Thérèse Meunier, to love and serve God and "the dear neighbour" in the name of the Church.
This year, for the first time, the CSJ Associates were included in the missioning. During the dinner that followed, I asked Associate Ellen Popkie her reaction to this new involvement.
She said, "I felt honoured to be invited and really feel part of the Congregation in that everything we do is part of this missioning, whether we go out to do acts of charity or stay in our own homes." Speaking of some of the other associates, she added, "Mary Ann couldn’t come because she was reading at Mass and I told her it was important to do this, because that is what missioning is all about.
"The same is true for Anne Pietrow, doing the parish lunch, and all those helping her. We were discussing this on the drive to Morrow Park and Margaret Boehm mentioned that she felt bad because she couldn’t get out as much to help others, but I reminded her of the great influence she has on her grandchildren and her family."
I think Ellen has really expressed what missioning is all about. We are the Church, and we are sent to be Church to whomever we meet, wherever we are.
"Go in peace, to love and serve the Lord and one another."
Mary Buckley CSJ