Summer Letter from the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart

Written on: June 14, 2018

We are pleased to introduce the newly-elected President and Leadership Council of the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart. Here, in our annual Summer Letter, they share with you their hopes and vision for the next five years.

Sisters Anne Marie Beirne, Barbara Schiavoni, Denise Roche, Eileen White and Bridget Connor

Sister Anne Marie Beirne

As I look forward to serving in Grey Nun leadership, I feel strongly that we will continue to reach out as our Mission statement says:

…to be signs of God’s unconditional love as we collaborate to create a more just and compassionate world.

I believe we will continue to articulate our deep commitment to and love for those in need. This includes the frailest among us who need our love and concern and presence as well as prayers as their earthly journey comes to an end. I believe it is a privilege as well as a challenge to be part of a religious community today. We have so much to offer to others and we strive on a daily basis to have our voices heard.

The following words taken from our prayer for the Human Family are especially meaningful to me and I believe to all Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart today:

Come, Holy Spirit, fill us with generosity as we are challenged to let go and allow others to share with us the goods and beauty of mother earth. Come, heal the divisions that keep us from seeing the face of Christ in all men, women and children. Remind us that what we do to the least ones, we do to you. Come, O Holy Spirit, show us the way. Amen.

Sister Barbara Schiavoni

At this time in our congregational history we are called to live our Grey Nun life and mission in new ways. For several years we have emphasized collaborating with others to share the good news of Jesus as expressed in the life and spirit of St. Marguerite d’Youville. This is a moment to invite our friends, supporters and Grey Nun Associates to more closely share the mission of “Creating a Compassionate World.” Together we make up the Body of Christ and the body is strengthened when we journey together.

Leaving the Yardley Motherhouse was a tremendous change for the entire congregation. In our new living situations, sisters are discovering new ways to connect with each other and to serve.

In the coming five years I hope that we will celebrate our blessings past and present, deepen in relationship with God and with one another and continue to share God’s unconditional love with all whom we encounter. 

Sister Denise Roche (President)

During the past several years, the congregation has had significant changes. In the years ahead, we are going to search for new ways to live in community with each other and to face the challenges of the surroundings in which we live.

Remembering that Marguerite d’Youville found unusual and resourceful ways of serving all who were in need and that she and the early Grey Nuns lived in community with those whom they served at the General Hospital, we can reflect on ways that we can share community and care for one another in the surroundings in which we find ourselves. Our charism has not changed but, in fact, has taken on new meaning since we live, pray and share ministry with others living in the residences we now call “home.”

Like Marguerite, we need to place our confidence in our Provident God, find resourceful ways to have a contemplative spiritual life and use whatever opportunities we have to minister to and with those who are in our new community. The current circumstances provide a fertile ground where God’s love can be shared abundantly.

Sister Eileen White

We Grey Nuns have always imagined ourselves capable of handling every detail of our communal lives and our ministries. Now, we have learned to partner with other religious communities, with Associates, and with laywomen and men who advise us and collaborate with us in the care of our finances, our healthcare, our communication, our social justice ministry, our school, and many aspects of our Grey Nun life and mission. Thanks be to God for our awakening and for all of these friends and co-workers!

My hope is that Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart and all those who collaborate with us (you!) will continue to deepen our consciousness of the oneness of all creation so that we will do everything we can to allow our planet to heal and to see that those made poor are lifted up in justice. I pray that we will also reach out to the larger community, advocating for peace and nonviolence, challenging ourselves and our Church to be visible signs of Jesus’ compassion, symbolized for us by the Sacred Heart.

What the future holds for us, we cannot know, but as Grey Nuns, we hold on tight to Providence, that is, God’s mysterious, faithful care.  

Sister Bridget Connor

My hope is no different than previous leadership teams: that we work as a team to do God’s work. And while in the midst of everyday living, I may forget that, I will have a team that reminds me that we are called as daughters of Marguerite to be and act with our gifts as compassionate women for God’s reign.

As a leadership team, we have been directed to continue, discover and share what it is to be in right relationships and how to do so in a contemplative stance. We are called with our brothers and sisters to a cosmic consciousness so that the universe will unfold with our care as it has been so lovingly entrusted to us by God. We are called as Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart to be faithful church witnesses to a world that longs for the message of Jesus. As women of the church we recognize our sisterhood with our brother, Jesus, and look forward to the day that we gain our rightful place in the structures of the church.

It is my hope that we will remain attentive to the God who calls us and journeys with us.

Please pray for our new President and Council members and for all Grey Nuns. And, please consider us for your charitable gifts. Our journey is so much more meaningful with your hand lovingly in ours!

Thank you. May God bless you for your kindness to us!

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