Franciscan Sr. Veronica Schueler gives a reading from Isaiah, which said in part, ‘Here I am, send me.’ (Ed Langlois/Catholic Sentinel)
Franciscan Sr. Veronica Schueler gives a reading from Isaiah, which said in part, ‘Here I am, send me.’ (Ed Langlois/Catholic Sentinel)
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God doesn’t come to us when we get our act together. … Jesus loves you knowing everything about you.

 

" Archbishop Alexander Sample at Mass for consecrated life
Dozens of women religious joined other worshippers Feb. 5 at St. Mary Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception for a Mass honoring the call to consecrated life.

The annual Mass is a time to honor those who formally have given themselves to the service of God and God’s people as vowed members of religious orders, congregations and institutes and those who follow other official paths like consecrated virginity.

Franciscan Sister Veronica Schueler, chancellor of the archdiocese, read from the book of Isaiah. In the passage, the prophet says, “Here I am, send me.”

Miriam Marston, one of the six consecrated virgins in the archdiocese, offered the second reading from St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, which said in part, “By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been ineffective.”

In the gospel passage from Luke, Jesus urges Peter to “put out into deep water,” a phrase often used to describe the mission of all Christians, but especially priests and those in consecrated life. In the story, Peter falls to his feet and tells the Lord he is a sinful man.

In his homily, Archbishop Alexander Sample noted that all three readings contain people who felt unworthy to follow the calling God had given.

The archbishop guessed that all consecrated persons or priests have at times felt undeserving of their vocations. But he urged listeners not to get stuck in that notion and reminded them that God summons sinners.

“God doesn’t come to us when we get our act together,” the archbishop said. “That’s a lifelong process. Jesus loves you knowing everything about you. And God does not reject us; he calls us to himself.”

He told the consecrated persons on hand that even more important than what they do is the witness of who they are.

“Leave all and follow Jesus. That is what consecrated persons have done,” the archbishop said. “Jesus loves you and he will sustain you.”

Sister Therese Gutting, head of Franciscan Montessori Earth School in Portland, said she and the other Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist traveled from their convent in Bridal Veil to receive the warmth and vision offered by the archbishop. “We came to ask God’s blessings as we live out our mission,” Sister Therese added.

Sister Isabel Johnson of the Society of Mary said she came to celebrate the calling to consecrated life with others who have responded to it. She explained that she appreciated how Archbishop Sample opened his heart to the congregation and genuinely seems to support their lives and mission.

There were laughs as well as inspiration. The archbishop joked that en route to Mass, his sister Marti had told him to keep the homily short. “Luckily for you, I never do what my sister tells me,” the archbishop told the laughing congregation.