The Vocations Ministry Committee welcomed Sister Ann Clark to the group during its regular meeting Aug. 1-2. Sister Ann replaces Sister Amy Junk, who has served on the committee for the last six years.
Though Sister Ann served on the committee twice before, she considers herself a newcomer, as the group now includes three lay people and a member of the Precious Blood Missionaries. Lay people were added to the committee in 2010. They are joined by five Precious Blood Sisters.
“I believe in our spirituality,” Sister Ann said. “I don’t know what the future is going to look like but I believe our spirituality is valid and who knows where it will take us?”
Utilizing her experience in parish ministry in both urban and Hispanic communities, Sister Ann is looking forward to assisting the committee in exploring ways to better connect with women from other cultures. The former elementary school teacher often participates in vocations events.
The lay members of the committee have helped the community understand young women’s perspectives on religious life, Sister Ann explained.
“We see things one way through our eyes, but they see it through their eyes,” she said. “They let us know what other people see in our community and what we present. It helps us understand what young people are looking for in a religious community.”
The lay people also bring an additional level of enthusiasm and excitement to community’s vocations work, she added.
The group, which advises the community council, meets quarterly to evaluate opportunities to share the community’s spirituality and gifts with others. Over the last two years, the committee has produced vocation material designed for presentations to young people of various ages, helped create content for the community’s website, invited parents to share feelings on their children entering religious life and is beginning discussions with other religious communities on multicultural members.
A native of Dayton, Sister Ann spent her first three years of religious life teaching elementary grades in Troy and St. Marys, Ohio. After earning a Master’s in Hispanic Ministry from St. Thomas Seminary in Denver, Colo., Sister Ann worked in parish ministry in Colorado and Arizona for 15 years. She returned to Dayton and spent eight years working in parish ministry at Our Lady of Mercy Parish. She has been a parish minister at St. Mary Parish in Franklin, Ohio, for the last six years.
“I look forward to working on the committee,” she said. “I see a lot of energy there.”
Story and photo by Dave Eck