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Let There be Peace

Sr. Patricia Eck, CBS Congregation Leader

Let there be peace on earth....and let it begin with me!

Dear God, please fill the hearts of

These words from the song by Sy and Jill JacksonMiller keep going through my mind and heart during these turbulent times. Let there be peace....let it begin with me! It seems there are conflicts all over the globe. At every turn, there is violence, disrespect and hatred. With so much discord how can God’s message of love and peace prevail in our world? Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with US! In 2009 our community formalized our commitment to one 2

another to break down barriers of borders between and among us. We, Sisters of Bon Secours, no longer have province boundaries. We are inviting one another to journey from country to country to better serve those in need. From Peru to France, from France to the USA, from Ireland to South Africa, from Great Britain to Ireland, we are sharing our precious resources and deepening our knowledge of and love for each other more and more. We pray as one...for the good of each other, those who serve with us, and those whom we serve.

Our prayer book reflections this year come from around the globe. It invites all of you to join with us in breaking down barriers wherever you find home, in your communities, your neighborhoods, your country, your Church, our planet. All of US united in the common good in our ONE world.

your people with

Then maybe we can truly pray together in one voice.

May we always

your love. Guide us as we forge global alliances to foster world peace. Help us to better understand cultures other than our own. Encourage us each day to take actions that better the life of others. open our hearts to receive your wisdom and

Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me!

to know your unconditional love. — Amen


Praying in One Voice Sr. Patricia Dowling, CBS Vocations Director

Around the World

“The struggle for a more humane world is not an option. It is an integral part of the gospel.” Sisters of Bon Secours Constitutions #7

These words from our constitutions are at the very core of each Bon Secours sister’s commitment, as we devote our lives to spreading the Word of God and caring for all of God’s creation around the world. Our vows call us to live as followers of Jesus Christ witnessing to the Good News of love, hope, justice and peace. (Article #7) Our relationship with God through prayer sustains us in all that we do.


This prayer book was written to share the meaningfulness of our life as vowed religious sisters with all of you. It expresses those things we find important to sustain all life. We invite you to pray each day with a reflection of a Sister of Bon Secours who serves in a different part of the globe. As you enter into the meaning of each sister’s reflection it is our hope that it leads you to deeper awareness

of the ever present love of God in your life and in the lives of those you touch. As you pray, reflect on your mission in life and the gifts you have to share. It is through the sound actions of God’s faithful servants that life in all its forms can be sustained. Let us pray together with one voice sharing the bounty of God’s love with all who cross our path.

Loving God, awaken our hearts. Help us to make wise decisions that protect this magnificent planet that is home to all creatures and matter. Prompt us to honestly examine our assumptions about the world so that we may see that all of creation is one. — Amen



Sr. Rita Thomas, CBS USA

“The Father and I are One.” John 10:30

Spirit of the living God, may your

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 while holding his words, “As often as you did it for one of the least of mine you did it for me,” (Matthew 25:40) close to my heart. In every age and culture God’s call to love and to serve finds 6

expression in action. Today, we are made aware of the millions of people suffering and in great need in our global village. Our call is to become aware of how our actions affect humanity and Mother Earth. Awareness impels us to action…healing body, mind and spirit, and caring for the Earth. To love God is to love neighbor and creation.

wisdom and holy

Our time in history calls us to act with justice and in compassion, to heal and care for a broken world.

respond as Jesus

presence lead us to be open to your guidance. As we sit at the feet of Jesus in prayer, may the call of love, justice and compassion for suffering humanity and Mother Earth find a response in our hearts. May you inspire us to would have us do. —Amen

We are God’s presence walking the earth. What are you called to do? 7


Lord, help me to see myself as a true member of your family, and to know that

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “ Matthew 5:4

others depend on me as I do on them. Bring me to a self forgetful

Many people have touched my life over the years. In my current ministry in Glasgow I visit nursing homes seeing an average of 60 people a week. This is a powerful experience for me as many are mourning, not only the loss of their loved ones but also their homes, their possessions and their independence. Yet these individuals are an inspiration to me for despite their loss, I receive so much love and affection from them, much more than I am able to give. At all stages of life, change leads us to dealing with endings and loss. Loss prompts grief which

represents our struggle to retrieve meaning. In grieving, we discern what to let go of and what to hold on to and adapt. This is a big step towards integrating loss in our lives. God’s grace is so powerful. To lose “much” and yet give “more” can only be done through God’s Spirit.

sorrow, and an unsparing compassion, so that in learning to mourn I may discover the comfort of your presence. —Amen

How have you managed past losses? How do you support others experiencing loss? From your own experiences of loss what can you share with them?

Sr. Anne Campbell, CBS Scotland




Sr. Rosa Elena Gómez Navarro, CBS Peru

“Whatever you did for one of these least brothers or sisters of mine you did for me.” Matthew 25:40

God of Love and Compassion, help

For those who have personally judged their sins in life to be beyond redemption, it is difficult for them to accept that God will forgive them. One of our sisters saw the reality of this when she was called upon to dress the wounds of a patient confined to his home. While there, he spoke to her of having been a dangerous bank robber. Suffering from a terminal illness, he confided that the pain causes him to cry out and keeps him from sleeping. He shared that it is in his suffering he came to experience the depth of God’s compassion and found the courage to ask God’s pardon 10

for all the evil he did. It was then that he began to recite the rosary every day.

us to reach out to the least of our brothers and sisters who are in need

As Sisters of Bon Secours, we believe that the brothers and sisters Jesus refers to as “least” are also those who have need of fraternal help to be able to forgive themselves. Authentic charity consists of providing help to any man or woman, Christian or not Christian, friend or foe, morally good and just or sin-filled.

and to comfort them and bring them to you so they can discover your loving presence in their sufferings and pains. —Amen

We need only reach out to God who liberates us through love.


...Wednesday “Looking at his disciples he said: ‘Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.’” Luke 6:20

This beatitude (one who is blessed) is a special invitation to the poor and lowly to come into the Kingdom of God. It does not say it will be theirs in the future, but it is theirs now, in the present. The poor possess all they need because neither misery nor affluence conforms to the Kingdom of God.

Sr. Maureen Condon, CBS Ireland


It is a powerful message for me as I minister to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children marked by poverty and violence in ‘Barnardos’, a non-governmental organization in Ireland. Each one of us in the facility, children and co-workers, are held in existence out of love

by God. We realize that everything we have comes from God. The challenge is to open our hearts to the Spirit, attentive to the needs of others. In loving others we know God — for God is love. The light of God gives hope and brightens the darkness of poverty, injustice, and tragedy through compassion, healing and liberation. We live the beatitudes by taking one day at a time. Through it all we must look to the compassionate Heart of Christ and to his invitation to give our heart to the poor.

Heavenly Father, we thank you for the many gifts and blessings bestowed upon us. Help us not to hoard or bury these gifts but seek ways to share with those in need. Open our hearts and give us true freedom of spirit to walk humbly in your service. —Amen



Sr. Winifred McCahill, CBS England

“All you who are thirsty come to the water.” Isaiah 55:1

Creator God, we

Years ago a young Sister of Bon Secours shared her thoughts on being present to people in hard times. She reflected, “To restore life, health and well-being in a human life is a sacred thing.... We are there with those suffering because God is with us all and somewhere in that suffering is the mystery of his presence.” These words are particularly meaningful as I minister in a parish without a resident priest. Parish staff members are called upon every day to share our gifts in support of the needs of the parishioners and with those of all faiths in the wider community.


God’s presence is experienced in difficult times as we tend to the needs of the sick,

homebound and the dying. God is present in joyful moments too as we prepare little ones to receive God in the sacraments for the first time. A Sister of Bon Secours is called by God to dedicate her life to bringing comfort and joy to those we serve in all circumstances. In my parish work I am surrounded by men and women dedicated to serving the needs of the community. To serve as an instrument of God’s peace is tremendously rewarding.

celebrate your loving kindness and thank you for your gentleness and mercy. May we be a witness to your presence in all peoples and the whole of creation, in a living hope that your kingdom will be fully realized. —Amen

What can you do to share your gifts? A gift from the heart is always precious! 15


“When I was sick and alone you visited me.” Matthew 25:36

God of life, you

In the service of God’s people as a Sister of Bon Secours, my eyes have been opened to the varied needs of our society. I have seen families divided, children lacking affection, and elderly suffering isolation and many infirmities.

Sr. Marguerite Provost, CBS France


When suffering occurs, we can turn from it or find courage and faith that is sustained by the loving presence of God. This trust in God particularly touched me when I was accompanying an elderly resident with cancer in our nursing home in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France. After many discussions and discernment with her doctor, she decided to refuse further treatment. From that moment, she was

filled with joy anticipating her passage to be with the One whom she loved and served all her life. Clear– minded until the moment of death, I will never forget her smile, a beatific smile, as though going towards heaven. It was a great honor to accompany her until the end of her life and to sense God’s presence as he beckoned her home. A sense of peace comes to us through our faith when dealing with uncertain times providing us the courage to embrace the journey ahead. For those searching for direction in life, I say follow Jesus! “Come and See” the Master, where he lives within your heart.

accompany us on our journey. You are always near to us filling up our poverty and weaknesses with your love and pardon. We pray that we may always desire to accomplish your work of compassion, healing and liberation – the heart of your Bon Secours – Good Help. —Amen



Loving Father, you

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3

give us the gift of life. Guide us to use this incredible gift to do your will.

As a vowed religious I have had the opportunity to bring the love and companionship of our God to others in a variety of ministries including a mission in the High Andes of Peru, visiting prisoners, caring for the sick and working with adolescents in high school.


Six months ago I came to South Africa – a different culture for me. I feel privileged to see firsthand the work that our sisters have begun. After seeing children begging on the streets and sleeping under the trees, they created a home for 20 orphans. They established an AIDS clinic for men and women in a poor village now serving 500

victims. We visit the homes of people living in extreme poverty and distribute food packages. And, we recently began a cooking workshop tutoring 24 women to better their chances of finding employment as cooks.

Help us to hear and answer your call to generously serve you in the people that cross our path. —Amen

Jesus calls us to serve all regardless of race, religion and social status. From the beginning of Bon Secours, our call has been to see the face of God in each one we serve. That is what we do each day. I thank God for the gift of my vocation as a sister and invite others to discover this special calling. If God calls you, say yes with confidence that he will guide you.

Sr. Santos Nélida Romero Vásquez, CBS South Africa


About the Sisters In the Beginning Josephine Potel and 11 companions came together in Paris in 1821 and founded the Sisters of Bon Secours. In the aftermath of the French Revolution, they brought a message of hope and a loving God into the homes of the sick and dying. They made their vows on January 24, 1824.

Today We carry on their original work by bringing Jesus’ loving message of compassion, healing and liberation to the world through a variety of services for the health and well-being of God’s people. Our Bon Secours family includes sisters, associate members who live our charism in their personal lives, lay


ministry volunteers who live in a faith community while serving those most in need, and our colleagues in ministry who help bring people and communities to health and wholeness every day. Reaching out in response to those in need, we minister to others through health care, retreat ministry, education, housing, and outreach programs tailored to meet the needs of local communities.

How We Live Fully active and engaged in the world, we place prayer at the center of our daily lives. As a community of religious women, we

share a Gospel vision and common values. Our vows are a way of life that free us for spiritual growth and life in mission. We live with other sisters and enjoy a variety of interests in our free time, celebrating holidays and community events as well as spending time with friends and family.

To Learn More About UsV

If you or anyone you know is considering religious life or wishes to explore other ways to become part of the Bon Secours family, please call our Vocation Director toll-free at: 877-742-0277.


Vowed Life and more... Consecrated Sisters of Bon Secours

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, coworkers, or a stranger. We invite you to consider your vocation anew … perhaps you are called to one of these four vocations.


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 “called to action” 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.


One Voice, One People

“I chose you and I commissioned you to go out and bear fruit, fruit that will last.”

Loving God,

Creator of our

John 15:16

universe, please bless and protect us

Since 1824 the Sisters of Bon Secours global community has answered God’s call, bringing compassion, healing and liberation to those we serve; bringing a message of God’s love for all people and creation. Whether in healthcare, education or social services, in hospitals, clinics or parishes, in towns and cities or in isolated villages, we respond to the universal need to provide all who suffer a reason to live and to hope. For us the struggle for a humane world is not an option. It is an integral part of spreading the Gospel.


Whether we are serving in Peru, South Africa, France, Ireland, Great Britain or the United States, we cry out with “one voice” for those unable to speak for themselves. We remind all of God’s love and compassion for them. To further influence systemic change, we are an active member of UNANIMA International, an affiliated nongovernmental organization (NGO) of the United Nations. We join with the voices of 17 other Roman Catholic congregations of sisters acting together to educate

and influence policy makers at the global level of the United Nations. We advocate for the victims of human trafficking, for economic and social advancement of women and children, for the needs of immigrants and refugees and for the welfare of the planet.

as we answer your

We encourage our co-workers, associates, friends and supporters to cry out with us against injustice, to join as one voice and pray with us as we journey through life together.

we do for and with

call to care for all of your people and the planet that you have created. May your compassion, healing and liberation be at the heart of all those in need. — Amen


...Protecting our Earth

In protecting our planet from harm we must protect ALL forms of life. We must realize that we are globally dependent on one another and that we have reached a point in our world history where we have to work together to assure the health and well-being of the earth for future generations. To understand what must be taken into account in protecting the planet we encourage you to visit the web site http://www. earthcharterinaction. org/content/ which lays out the fundamental principals for building a just, sustainable, and


peaceful global society. This initiative was commissioned in 1987 by the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development. It is our job as a citizen of the world to work together to keep water supplies and lands uncontaminated, to safeguard nature reserves and to defend the rights of others. As we become more aware of the needs of all manner of life that surrounds us let us do everything in our power to safeguard the gift we have been given: Planet Earth!

To Learn More About Us Visit our website at If you or anyone you know is considering religious life as a sister or wishes to explore the options as an associate, ministry volunteer, or ways to work 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 email:, 410-442-3172 Sisters of Bon Secours International Generalate Bon Secours Associates, 410-442-3131 Bon Secours Ministry Volunteers

email:, 410-442-3161 Bon Secours Spiritual Center, 410-442-3120 Bon Secours Health System, 410-442-5511 Praying In One Voice Around the World is dedicated to all who share their gifts to benefit the earth and all manner of life upon it. Contributors: Sr. Pat Eck, CBS; Sr. Rita Thomas, CBS; Sr. Anne Campbell, CBS; Sr. Rosa Elena Gómez Navarro, CBS; Sr. Maureen Condon, CBS; Sr. Winifred McCahill, CBS; Sr. Marguerite Provost, CBS; Sr. Santos Nélida Romero Vásquez, CBS Design and layout: Lisa Jaworski, Editorial Staff: Sr. Pat Dowling, CBS, Jennifer Murphy, Sunshine Monk and Sue Donovan Photos: Sr.Vicky Segura, MD, CBS; Brid Cottrell; Sr. Mary Leamy, CBS; Sr. Rosalinda Pajuelo Ureña; Diana Stager; Kristin Thompson and Stephen Spartana Printed in the USA: Whitmore Printing, Inc. Vocation Office: Sisters of Bon Secours 1525 Marriottsville Road, Marriottsville, Maryland 21104, USA Tel- toll free: 877-742-0277 All Rights Reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission in © Jan. 2012 writing from Sisters of Bon Secours.

1525 Marriottsville Road Marriottsville, Maryland 21104 email:

Praying in One Voice Around the World  

Sister of Bon Secours 2012 Prayer Book

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