At the beginning of Mass, Sr. Kathy Dougherty welcomed everyone and extended a personal “Thank You” to Mikah, Sabina, and Kathleen in the name of the congregation. She explained that the development of a volunteer program had long been a dream of many in the congregation and that the directives from our 2014 Congregational Chapter provided the perfect opportunity to bring that dream to birth. Kathy also told the volunteers that they were the perfect team to be the “first” because they seemed to capture the essence of the program.
|Sr. Kathy Dougherty welcomed the congregation.|
|Mikah, Sabina, and Kathleen presented the gifts.|
Before the closing hymn, Sara Marks, director of Franciscan Volunteers: No Risk, No Gain, called the volunteers into the sanctuary and asked all those present to bless them by singing the “Blessing of St. Francis.”
|Sabina, Kathleen, and Mikah being blessed by the congregation|
|The sisters sing the Blessing of St. Francis as they bless our volunteers.|
|Those who attended the Blessing Mass stopped to greet the volunteers after Mass.|
A reception followed, allowing for additional time to socialize with the volunteers.
|Srs. Corda Marie, Bernadette, Pat, Dennis, and Maureen chat and enjoy refreshments.|
|Sabina (right) visits with Marisibel, a volunteer with Franciscan Volunteer Ministry.|
|Kathleen chats with her mom during the reception. Her parents came from New Hampshire for the weekend.|
Sara Marks eventually initiated “story time.” She shared her experience of working with Kathleen, Sabina, and Mikah and related a brief story about each. Both Mikah and Sabina shared examples of what attracted them to the program and what they felt the program had to offer to other young adults. Several of the sisters also shared stories about their personal experiences with the volunteers during the course of the year.
Sabina explained how Sara's emails and the interest she showed helped her to make the decision to become part of our volunteer program.
Sr. Ann David described ways in which the volunteers became, in a sense, part of her local convent.
Kathleen, Sabina, and Mikah, we wish you well as you move into whatever God is inviting you to do in the future. We pray that the Franciscan values and ideals that you learned during this past year will continue to be part of your lives and will be shared with all whose lives you will touch. We send you off with love and with many blessings! You have—in so many ways—been a blessing to us and to all with whom you ministered!