Monday March 12, 2018

Meet the Sisters

By Women's Center

The Women's Center spoke with four Sisters here on campus in honor of National Catholic Sisters Week. Gabrielle Bibeau, F.M.I., is the Graduate Assistant at the North American Center for Marianist Studies (NACMS), a program offered through UD. Kathleen Rossman, O.S.F., is the Campus Minister for Virginia West Kettering and Gardens on Stewart. Laura Leming, F.M.I., is an Associate Professor of Sociology. Nicole Trahan, F.M.I., is the National Vocations Director for the Marianist Sisters. She also works in the Office of Ministry and Service at Chaminade Julienne High School.

How would you describe your job?

GB: My work varies. I am currently working on a podcast about the Marianist charism and women religious discussing their lives, called ‘Sharing our Marianist Stories.’
KR: I do Faith & Life Chats with students. I run the Living with Loss support group for students who have lost someone significant in their lives. I run a Spectrum support group to support and educate students on LGBTQ+ issues.
LL: I spend most of my time teaching. I am also researching for my trip to Ghana and Togo this summer to learn more about interactions between religious groups.
NT: At C.J., I help students design retreat programs and prayer services. As the National Vocations Director, I travel and work with people who are considering becoming a Marianist sister.

How did you know you wanted to be a sister?

GB: My calling was slowly revealed to me. When I came here, I met a young woman considering religious life and wondered, ‘Why haven’t I thought about that?’
KR: I was drawn to the spiritual life. When people ask me ‘Why did you become a sister?’ I say, ‘Why I did is not as important as why I am today.’ Just like marriage, staying is just as vital as starting.
LL: I have always been spiritual. I was involved with a Marianist ministry retreat center and never looked back. It just clicked.  
NT: I didn’t have a big revelation, it was more of a gentle unfolding. When I met the Marianists in San Antonio, Texas, it felt as if everything fell into place.

How have your views on vocation changed through experience?

GB: When I first thought about my vocation, I would ask, ‘How will this life make me happy?’ I realized that God calls us to serve and that service brings happiness, joy, and peace.
KR: I no longer believe that religion has to be tied with vocation. I use the word ‘vocation’ as a ‘calling for all people.’   
LL: When you are young, you think that you have to do what God wants you to do. God just wants us to be happy. To quote Frederick Buechner, “Your vocation in life is where your greatest joy meets the world's greatest need.”
NT: When I was younger, I thought that religious people were fundamentally different from me. Now, after getting to know religious people, I know that they are human just like me.

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