‘The Father and I are One.”
As a young woman I felt drawn to live my life as Jesus did, with my actions reflecting God’s love for the sick, the poor, the sinner, the outcasts of society. This led me to become a Sister of Bon Secours where for the last sixty-eight years I have lived a life rich in God’s love, caring for the health and well being of others. I have gone wherever I was needed fulfilling Jesus’ mission, holding his words: “As often as you did it for one of the least of mine, you did it for me” close to my heart.
“Hidden Gifts” © Doris Klein, CSA, used with permission
Revealing your Throughout the Bible, women found themselves in circumstances where their gifts were called upon to benefit others. Their faith and openness to God guided them to respond to these often delicate and precarious situations. Because of their God-given strength, they were able to take action, bringing resolution to their circumstances.
As we read about these women in the Bible, we realize that we are also called to use our gifts for others. Our faith helps us to respond. The Holy Spirit enables us to rely on the strengths that God has given us. We are guided in taking action to ultimately benefit all of God’s creation. What a life-giving experience! It’s so comforting to know that we can depend on God’s guidance to lead us, no matter what we encounter.
gifts within “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen. Because of it the ancients were well attested.” Heb. 11:1-2
As you read these inspirational reflections, we invite you to consider the possibilities in your own life. Do you sometimes feel as if God is revealing a special gift deep inside that you’ve been ignoring? Is God nudging you to act on this hidden gift? Maybe now is the time to find the courage to use your gifts to better our world.
Gracious God, We are so grateful for the amazing examples of women of the past, as well as today. May their stories inspire us to uncover our hidden gifts. Give us the courage to use these precious gifts in helping those
Sister Rose Marie Jasinski, CBS Leader, Sisters of Bon Secours, USA
in need. May our actions glorify your name. — Amen
Faith, Hope and The women of the Bible who we’ve chosen to reflect upon each bring a gift that is uniquely theirs. They are not just figures from ancient history. Their stories are our stories! Stories that we can delve into, learn from and use to help us respond when faced with challenges.
In this Prayer Booklet, Sisters of Bon Secours share reflections about how women of the past are an inspiration to them. They use this inspiration when seeking to help others who they encounter today. The impact that each woman’s gift has on history is amazing: Mary’s humility, Abigail’s insight, Deborah’s wisdom, Esther’s liberation, Jochebed and Miriam’s courage, the
Love Hemorrhaging woman’s healing and Dorcas’ compassion. These gifts were not boastful qualities, but hidden gifts that they nurtured and used to help others. As you reflect on these stories, we invite you to visit our Facebook prayer page to pray with
us and share your story: www.facebook.com/ PrayerWithBonSecours. We pray that your faith reveals the special gifts that God has given you. May you find hope in new places each day. Let us ‘put on love’ and help others as Jesus did. Sister Patricia Dowling, CBS Vocations Director Sisters of Bon Secours, USA
If we want it to have real meaning and fulfillment…‘put on faith’ and your life will take on a new flavor, it will have a compass to show you the way; ‘put on hope’ and every one of your days will be enlightened and your horizon will no longer be dark, but luminous; ‘put on love’, and your life will be like a house built on rock, your journey will be joyful, because you will find many friends to journey with you.
— Pope Francis, WYD Rio 2013
Sunday It is fascinating to contemplate God’s call to three members of one family in providing safe passage for God’s people as they were led out of Egypt. It all began when courageous Jochebed, mother of Moses, saved his life by placing him in a basket in the reeds on a river bank. Pharaoh’s daughter discovered the basket and then raised Moses as her own. This ultimate letting go and trust in God enabled Moses to lead God’s people to freedom. Years later Miriam stepped up to help her brother Moses
“My people, what have I done to you? How have I wearied you? Answer me! I brought you up from the land of Egypt, from the place of slavery I ransomed you; and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.” Micah 6:3-4
Spirit of the living God, make your
on their perilous journey by taking charge of all the women and leading them to safety. Jochebed relied upon her total trust in God. Miriam was inspired to use her ingenuity. Because they were open to God’s spirit they took enormous risks through their love and action. These two women offer us a chance to contemplate God’s plan for each of us. —Sister Mary Regina Flatley, CBS
presence known to us as you did to Jochebed and Miriam. Thank you for the gifts you give us daily. May we always listen and respond with courage and love to your wishes, fueled by the gift of faith you have given us. —Amen
Monday Deborah’s faithfulness to God raised her up as a judge to lead the Israelites. She gave good counsel, dispensed justice, promoted liberation, and the spirit of God rested upon her. She settled disputes with justice and equity that speaks of a Spirit-filled wise leader. She possessed the spiritual gift of inner peace, earning the respect of many. I am reminded of a friend’s quiet leadership and wisdom as I read Deborah’s story.
“When I, Deborah, rose, when I arose, a mother in Israel. ...then war was at the gates. ...My heart is with the leaders of Israel, nobles of the people who bless the Lord.” Judges 5:7-9
Good and loving God, thank you for the gifts you have given us. Help us to use them wisely. Help
My softball teammate was battling breast cancer. I watched her through times of hope and then times of disappointment, yet she was always at peace and secure in her faith that God was in charge. We prayed the rosary before practice with players from all walks of faith and the strength that she shared was a precious gift. In the end, it was her trust in God that inspired and led us.
us to hear your encouragement and trust the path you have for our lives, granting us peace. We ask that you help us recognize and embrace the gifts of wisdom and leadership, within ourselves and in others, that is needed for our world today.
â€”Sister Chris Webb, CBS â€”Amen
Abigail knew her husband Nabal’s life was in danger due to refusing David’s aid. She appealed to David’s love of God through humility and respect. She humbly reminded him that when the heat of his anger passed, he would regret his actions that should be left to God. Abigail’s kindness and wisdom saved Nabal’s life. In my hospice ministry, I have been in the midst of many tense situations. Just as Abigail approached David with respect and love, it
“David said to Abigail, ‘Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who sent you to meet me today! Blessed be your good sense, and blessed be you, who have kept me today from shedding blood and avenging myself personally! ‘” 1 Samuel 25: 32, 33
God, we praise and thank you for the times when our words and actions have been instruments of
has always helped me first to build relationships with everyone involved; to foster trust. Then, I seek courage through my faith to act as an advocate for the patient. I rely on the knowledge that God wants me to provide encouragement in a place of discouragement and challenge.
healing through your intervention. Empower us all to be sensitive and caring in quiet, unobtrusive ways when faced with inhospitable situations. May we advocate for others in need with Abigail as our role model. â€”Amen
â€”Sister Dorothy Brogan, CBS
Wednesday The book of Esther tells us about a time in ancient Persia when the life of every Jew was in danger. But, with the courage of Queen Esther, who stood up against the king for her people, this act of genocide was aborted. Her faith pushed her past her fears to advocate for the welfare of others. This reminds me of the news story about Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani school girl who was shot by political extremists for
â€œGo, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf. ...Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law; and if I perish, I perish.â€? Esther 4:16
Holy One, you who gives strength to each one of us in times of trial, we pray for women today
speaking out about equal educational opportunities amongst girls in her country. What courage this teen demonstrates as she continues to stand up for the truth! Like Esther, she presses on in defense of the marginalized. May we be inspired by Malala and Esther to protect the rights of others so that our world will be a better place for all!
who struggle to have their voices heard. May we all seek steadfast courage to stand up for justice, lending our support in defense of those in our world who cannot defend themselves. â€”Amen
â€”Sister Bernadette Kwasna, CBS
Mary must have been so surprised when the angel, Gabriel, came to her. Yet, a deep faith enabled her to humbly respond to God’s request to be his son’s mother. However difficult it may have been, she answered, “Let it be done…as you say.” Mary’s ‘yes’ is what I pray daily. Her response helped me when I was surprised to be elected to a leadership position and I had to leave a beloved ministry. I knew that God had a greater plan
“And the angel answered her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called the Son of God.’” Luke 1:35
Dear Mary, my Mother and my Sister, as you said ‘yes’ to bear the Incarnate One, help me to say
for me, even though at that time it was difficult for me to see. My prayers, filled with Mary’s example of faith and courage, guided me onto my next journey of service. Mary’s story is our story too. We must answer God’s call to service and place our doubts in his hands. Let us pray to be a compassionate presence and proclaim ‘the Lord is with you’ to everyone we serve.
‘yes’ and always be a bearer of Jesus. As I go out in service, may I receive Christ in others and together may we proclaim the greatness of the Lord. —Amen
—Sister Alice Talone, CBS
For many years I provided medical care within Bon Secours hospitals, yet I still had a deep desire to go on a mission to care for poor, sick people who do not receive any healthcare. Receiving an opportunity to go to South Africa to care for people living with HIV/AIDS, I was very happy to be part of the pioneer team. I prayed that I could be a real help to people who are stigmatized and regarded as outcasts, very similar to the hemorrhagic woman in scripture.
â€œDaughter, it is your faith that has cured you. Go in peace, and be free of this illness.â€? Mark 5:25-34
Compassionate God, look with particular love on the marginalized. They are often victims of injustice, abuse and poverty.
I have felt privileged to be part of a team caring for these very sick and marginalized people for over six years now. Often a gentle touch means so much to them, as people tend to avoid being near them in any way. I thank God for being a vehicle of his healing touch for these people.
Look also with special love on innocent children who are afflicted with illness. Open our hearts to their needs. Fill us with courage as we reach out to ease their pain and suffering. â€”Amen
â€”Sister Mary Leamy, CBS
Dorcas was a beloved disciple of the Lord, showing compassion by reaching out to those in need. God was her companion! He literally raised her from death to new life! Her work was not done! We also, must be willing to act on our faith and show compassion so that others may find comfort and renewed joy in their lives. Selfless acts provide bountiful blessings for the giver and the receiver. I remember a time when I felt a great sense of compassion
“Now in Joppa there was a woman…a disciple named Tabitha, meaning Dorcas or Gazelle. Her life was marked by constant good works and acts of charity. ” Acts 9:36
Good Lord, nudge our hearts to answer your call
and God’s presence during my hospice ministry. I was with a family trying to help them reconcile their differences at their father’s bedside. In praying with them as they let go of their prejudices, I felt the Holy Spirit at work as each person was liberated with a sense of peace before their loved one departed this life. I am so grateful to have been part of this healing. —Sister Kathleen Moroney, CBS
to service. May we be a source of joy and hope to all who are in need. Renew in their lives a sense of freedom and love which surpasses all understanding. Let your healing give comfort through me. I trust that you will always be with us. —Amen
About the Sisters The Early Years
When we began
daily mass. There, she
welcomed new members to
the community. When she
ill in France in 1821, our
unexpectedly became gravely
ill in 1826, she chose 33-year-
old Alexis Angélique Geay
as her successor. Angélique
made her profession the day
before Mother Potel’s death.
Fearless in her devotion to God and to our healing mission, once the sisters made final vows in 1824, she rented a house and incorporated a chapel for them to pray and attend
Mission Statement: We, Women of Healing, commit ourselves to defend and care for all of creation; to cry out with others against injustice and all that diminishes life on Earth.
with the dying. After Mère
Gèay’s passing in 1860, our
mission continued to grow.
During the Franco-Prussian
War of 1870, sisters served
on the battlefields and in
temporary hospitals, even
taking the wounded into their
homes of the
sick, both rich and poor alike. During the revolution of 1848,
Foundations outside of France
we cared for the wounded
began in Dublin, Ireland in
in the streets of Paris and
1861 and then in England
in the former palace of the
in 1870. In later years a
exiled king which had been
foundation was established in
transformed into a hospital
to avoid destruction by revolutionaries. We nursed and prayed with the wounded and arranged for priests to be
About the Sisters FINDING OUR WAY TO THE UNITED STATES in the 1800’s
It all began
to receive your Sisters”. Very
soon thereafter three sisters
sailed to America.
James Gibbons of Baltimore,
Maryland was advised of the work of our Sisters in France. Encouraged by what he heard
AN EVER EVOLVING CHARISM
Our beloved sisters of the past, who brought
and anxious to start home
compassion, healing and
healthcare in the United
liberation to patients and
States, he stopped to visit
their families, while enduring
them at their motherhouse
in Paris on his way to a
are the inspiration for our
scheduled visit with the Pope
forward-thinking sisters of
in Rome. On October 21, 1880
Archbishop Gibbons wrote to
Mother St. Fulgence in France
As the demands to assist the
with news of an offer, “I have
underserved in our global
the pleasure of informing
world continually evolve, our
you that everything is ready
mission today has spread to
eight countries and grown to include our involvement far beyond the walls of tradition in implementing far reaching healthcare, human service, education and pastoral programs; community outreach that includes walkin centers for women and children; education of youth and adults and social justice efforts to advocate for those without a voice. To all these needs and more the Sisters of Bon Secours continue to provide good help速!
We are People of Compassion Every day we say YES to God. Every day we answer the call to be more, to serve those in need. All of us are called to a way of life through which we live… some to marriage, some to single life and some as consecrated sisters, brothers or priests. God also calls all people to use their gifts and talents to serve their neighbor – be it family, friends, co-workers, or a stranger. We invite you to consider your vocation anew … perhaps you are called to one of these four vocations.
Consecrated Sisters of Bon Secours Sisters are single, Catholic, consecrated women religious who answer God’s call to live a vowed life by following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. A sister makes public vows and lives a life in community and service. A shared call and
commitment to God and a shared response shape our lives as we publicly witness to the Gospel message. Our diversity of talents enables creative responses to the needs of the world today. We are energized by the Spirit and find God in all people and creation. We are looking for women who feel called to share our life.
Bon Secours Associates Associates are lay people of all walks of life, married or single as well as ordained and other consecrated religious men and women of all faiths. They collaborate in a mutual relationship with the Sisters of Bon Secours in their prayer, spirituality, mission and ministry in the world, and commit to extend the Bon Secours mission in their own lives. We are looking for individuals called to mission through prayer and service in their own lives.
Bon Secours Ministry Volunteers Ministry Volunteers offer Christian women and men, single or married, an opportunity to participate in the mission of the Sisters of Bon Secours as lay volunteers who compassionately serve people in need. Ministry Volunteers
live in community with other volunteers for one year, choosing a simpler lifestyle while receiving a stipend. We are looking for individuals called to give a year of their life in service.
Bon Secours Co-Workers Co-workers participate fully with the Sisters of Bon Secours in carrying out the legacy of Bon Secours in the mission to provide compassion, healing and liberation to those in need, especially the sick, the dying and people made poor. Co-workers are â€œcalled to actionâ€? by their dedication, relationship building and commitment to Bon Secours values. We are looking for co-workers to continue to deepen their commitment to Bon Secours and ask that they invite others to service as well.
When I think of Mary I often think of Ruth in the Old Testament who also had great faith and followed a path that took deep courage and perseverance. I acted on my faith when I became a sister and that faith often bravely led me in my ministry. Now, after more than 55 years as a Sister of Bon Secours, I still have dreams to follow in how I help others. â€”Sister Jean Aulenback, CBS
Sister Jean continues to be
pray for peace, vocations
open to Godâ€™s calling to help
and those who are ill. Like
others. She still follows that
Sr. Jean, let us always keep
path he has set for her, now
each other in prayer. Visit
in new ways. Sr. Jean uses
our prayer page on Facebook
her discovered gifts through
a phone ministry, by praying
for others in need and also by encouraging others to
Loving and generous God, help us to discover our hidden gifts. We recognize that you reveal these gifts throughout our lives. Encourage us to be open to these discoveries in all circumstances. Give us the humility to listen to how you invite us to use these precious gifts to help others. Amen.
To Learn More About Us Please visit our website at www.BonSecoursVocations.org for general information about vocations and our community. Visit our new website too at: www.LifeAsASister.org. This innovative site shows women, who might consider religious life, what it is like to be a sister. Watch videos as our sisters share their passion for ministry and stories of being called. Then, explore ministry possibilities. Another section explains how you can hear God’s calling in your life and become a sister. If you or anyone you know is considering religious life or wishes to explore options as an associate, ministry volunteer, or working in ministry with us, call our Vocation Director at: 877-742-0277. To contact our Bon Secours family call, email, or visit these websites:
Sisters of Bon Secours USA www.BonSecours.org/US 410-442-1333
Sisters of Bon Secours Vocations www.BonSecoursVocations.org CBSVocations@bshsi.org 410-442-3172
Sisters of Bon Secours International Offices www.BonSecours.org
Bon Secours Associates
www.BonSecoursAssociates.org email@example.com 410-442-3131
Bon Secours Ministry Volunteers www.BonSecours.org/bsvm firstname.lastname@example.org 410-442-3161
Retreat and Conference Center at Bon Secours
www.RCCBonSecours.com email@example.com 410-442-3120
Bon Secours Health System www.bshsi.org 410-442-5511
Hidden Gifts is dedicated to all who share their gifts in service to others and the world. Contributors: Sr. Rose Marie Jasinski, CBS, Sr. Pat Dowling, CBS, Sr. Mary Regina Flatley, CBS, Sr. Chris Webb, CBS, Sr. Dorothy Brogan, CBS, Sr. Bernadette Kwasna, CBS, Sr. Alice Talone, CBS, Sr. Mary Leamy, CBS, Sr. Kathleen Moroney, CBS, Sr. Jean Aulenback, CBS Design and layout: Lisa Fiedler Jaworski, FiedlerDesignhaus.com Editorial Staff: Sr. Pat Dowling, CBS, Sue Donovan, Jennifer Murphy Photos: Sr. Pat Dowling, CBS, Jennifer Murphy, Sunshine Monk, Diana Stager Cover Artwork: “Hidden Gifts” © Doris Klein, CSA, used with permission All Rights Reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission in © Jan. 2014 writing from Sisters of Bon Secours.
“Hidden Gifts Shared” © Doris Klein, CSA, used with permission
1525 Marriottsville Road Marriottsville, Maryland 21104 email: CBSVocations@bshsi.org www.BonSecoursVocations.org