Here I Am, Lord, Send me!

Blog by Sr. Terry Wasinger, OP
Blog by Sr. Terry Wasinger, OP

Having been invited to represent the Dominican Sisters of Peace at the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) in the Indianapolis Conference Center, I had no idea what I would encounter.

As a representative of our congregation, I became a “team member” of a group of six Catholic sisters, which included Franciscan and St Joseph sisters from Pennsylvania. While some congregations rented tables to display information about their congregation, we were part of a new feature setup by the National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC) office in a large conference room which was listed as the “Inspiration Nook,” right next to the main chapel. Teams of six religious sisters, brothers and priests working for vocations could register to make “The Nook” their “home place,” displaying congregational information on the tables that were along the walls in this room.

Seventeen teams of six were registered at The Nook. That’s right: we were 102 sisters, brothers and priests freely mingling with the 24,000 participants at the NCYC! Twenty-thousand were high school youth, and 4,000 were the parents and mentors.

We were all given a sky blue tee shirt to wear, which said on the front: “Here I am Lord, Send me.” On the back of the tee shirt was written: “Consider religious life….Ask us.” We all wore the shirts, even those wearing habits!

And the best part of all, we were free to move around among the high school youth and their mentors and participate in all the activities. We each signed up for one two-hour period to be present in The Nook throughout the conference. This gave us opportunities to have some great conversations with the youth.

I really liked volunteering in the “Prayer Corner” in the activities hall. Instead of a “Corner,” this was an awesome complex that welcomed a constant stream of participants through a labyrinth-style walk of various types of prayer activities, reflections, and demonstrations. I also volunteered in the arts and crafts area, helping participants make string rosaries. An inspiring activity I had was assisting Catholic Relief Service personnel helping youth to fill family-sized bags with dry and dehydrated ingredients to make a meal to be sent to people in Burkina Faso.

Masses and small group workshops were offered in various locations in the Convention Center, throughout each day. I attended Mass every day, even one in Latin! I went to two conference sessions – one at which Carolyn Woo, President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, spoke on Friday, and the other was a night session of singing, witnessing, etc. on Saturday.

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. I met many wonderful people, and actually “bumped” into a friend of mine from Kansas: Shannon Davis, OPA and her three children! Imagine my surprise when I heard the call, in a crowded hallway: “Sister Terry!” and saw them! What a way to end this faith-filled weekend and to experience the vitality of our Catholic youth – the future of our Church.

Together let us build a future of hope by inviting other women to share our life as a religious sister. May the harvest be plenty and may many respond: “Here I am, Lord, send me.”

Posted in God Calling?

11 responses to “Here I Am, Lord, Send me!

  1. Thanks for your gifts of creativity in helping others to hear the Call of Jesus, “Come, follow Me.”

  2. What an interesting article! Sounds like the church is alive and vocation ministry is alive. Must have been great being there. Thanks for all you do for the community.

    Kathleen

  3. Now I know where you got the T- shirt which I saw
    you wearing. It is wonderful that you had the opportunity
    to attend the NCYC. Thank you for sharing the informa-
    tion with us.

  4. “Aqui Estoy Enviame”, meaning Here I am Send Me in Spanish. Those are the words that I have engraved on my ring for when I made final profession. I mentioned for it was by a Dominican Sister, Sr. Libby Schaeffer, that I met during a meeting for the Cleveland Catholic Commission for Community Action that asked me! She became my mentor. I was invited to take a look at the Akron Dominicans at that time and I was 27 years old, living at home and helping my parents and siblings. I already had all my education with a Masters in Community Development from Case Western Reserve. If it was not for ‘Libby” as she was called, I would not have considered Religious life. Thanks Terry for bring this up in your blog for I would not have remembered it to mention it. Your words brought that back to me. Gracias!

  5. Janet Pohlmeier, OPA

    Sister Terry, you have an ability to make the scenes vivid in your writing. The whole experience seemed well-thought-through, through your eyes. Thank you!

  6. I’m so glad you were there to represent us, S. Terry! I can just imagine the energy that must have filled that space, and thought that was a great way to present religious life to the NCYC participants in an “inspiration Nook”!
    Thank you for sharing this experience with them and also with us.

    1. Thanks, Amy! The energy nearly overwhelmed me. It was great, but the next NCYC is in two years, and I suggest someone younger than I will be at that time to go!

  7. So THAT’S where you got that blue t-shirt! Thanks for your work with the vocations group at the conference and for this article.

    Peace!

    Pat

    1. Yep! I still wear my sky blue tee shirt, and keep hearing folks here reading it and asking me to where I want to be sent!

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