By Jackie O’Neal
In a creative attempt to recruit women to consider consecrated life within the convent, the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity are offering a free downloadable ring tone featuring their theme song “Peace and All Good.” The theme is played throughout the Green Bay, Michigan local area in a television ad campaign.
Founded in 1869, The Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity’s mission includes service in healthcare, parish ministries and education.
Sister Louise Hembrecht, one of the Directors, believes the ring tone is designed to be purely inspirational. “It’s a reminder to be open to the Lord in His call,” she noted.
The sisters are active, rather than enclosed and serve in a variety of ministries from sponsorships in hospitals and nursing homes to educational institutions. Currently, The Holy Family Convent located in Manitowoc, Wisconsin has one postulant and is eager to grow. Sister Louise emphasizes the benefits of entering into consecrated life, and she is not naďve about the factors pulling many women away from it. “Very few families encourage it and it’s reflected in the climate of out times. There are so many other opportunities available for women,” she said. Yet for women who are motivated, Sister Louise describes the rewards. “It’s a tremendous opportunity to serve the Lord in various ministries, and to live and pray with others. It allows a time for relationship with the Lord,” she said.
Involved in diverse charitable missions including teaching in rural areas of Arizona and parts of the South, the sisters also have a school in Hawaii.
Undoubtedly, the ring tone with its message of service to the Lord in consecrated life will speak to the hearts and minds of women it is intended to reach. All in all, the invitation is a compelling one. My hope is that whether women answer the call or not, the desire to support the missions of The Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity will be strong.
I believe the sisters in their charitable work are embodiments of those who not only preach the Gospel, but like Christ are the Gospel in all they do for people in need. I am paraphrasing St. Francis when he asserted: “Preach the Gospel everywhere and when necessary use words.” In this case, both technology and music collaborate to reach out to others in sharing an inspired mission, and although it may be important to acknowledge that religious life is not intended for everyone, the sisters have found a creative, unique way to “cast their bread upon the water.”
To listen to the ring tone and get inspired, visit: http://www.fscc-calledtobe.org/weinvite.htm.