VERSAILLES, Ohio – There was plenty of socialization and laughs at St. Denis Parish on April 8 as Sisters from nearly a dozen women religious communities met with single women to discuss vocations to religious life at a Martha Dinner.
The event, sponsored by area vocations directors and the Cincinnati Archdiocese Vocations Office, was designed to give women an opportunity to meet Sisters and learn more about their lives in a relaxed, social setting. The Sisters of the Precious Blood were among the communities represented and several Precious Blood Sisters attended.
Cincinnati Auxiliary Bishop Joseph R. Binzer and Jill Swallow, a Consecrated Woman of Regnum Christi, were keynote speakers.
In remarks during mealtime prayer, Bishop Binzer noted that the Blessed Virgin Mary embraced God’s call to bear God’s son. In his own call to the priesthood, the bishop explained that he was working as a certified public accountant when a co-worker simply mentioned that Binzer would make a good priest. The bishop encouraged the women to listen to God’s call for each of them.
“God, I feel, has a plan for all of us. God calls us in ways that might seem hidden,” the bishop said. “We are all part of the body of Christ.”
RC consecrated woman Jill, who grew up in Versailles, explained that she helped lead a retreat at Moeller High School in Cincinnati when she first heard a call. She noticed the priests and Sisters at the retreat seemed so happy and at peace. It got her thinking about religious life. She soon met the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi and found a fit.
“Everybody’s path is different,” she said. “(God) gives us the grace we need to fulfill the vocation he’s given us.”
The women nodded and smiled as the speakers shared their stories.
After dinner, the women visited each congregation to interact with the Sisters and get more information about the different communities. Sisters explained the various charisms and ministries in which they are involved.
Amy Pequignot said she was impressed when Swallow explained that God doesn’t call those equipped for a religious vocation, but equips the people called.
“I don’t know where God is calling me,” Pequignot said. “Instead of closing the door, I want to explore all my options.”
Additional Martha Dinners are being planned.
Consecrated Woman of Regnum Christi Jill Swallow speaks during a Martha Dinner at St. Denis Parish in Versailles. Dave Eck photo