Called to a Courageous Life

In this episode, Rocky Pierson shares her conversation with #NCSW2017 mini-grant recipient Nate Friday. Nate talks about community building, student to sisters engagement, and ministry during the Dominican High School event, Called to a Courageous Life.

Transcript
Nate Friday:
My name is Nate Friday. I’m the Campus Minister at Dominican High School. I also teach in our Religious Studies Department.

We have invited quite a few sisters. Mainly Sinsinawa Dominicans, that’s the congregation that sponsors our school. We also have a couple of Franciscan Sisters coming in, both in the afternoon on Thursday and the morning on Friday, to share their ministry, their experience as a sister, and all the different wonderful things they’ve done with our students based on different classes. So, we have a couple sisters who’ve volunteered and worked at the Milwaukee Art Museum who will lead some of our art classes in some kind of prayer through art experiences. We’ve got a few sisters who have served for . . . Actually, one sisters who has served for close to 20 years in Guatemala who will be speaking to our upper-level Spanish classes, in Spanish, about her experience in Guatemala. So, tied content together with ministry. And then, we have sisters heading into our religious studies classes looking at vocational discernment to religious life and, kind of, the day in the life of a sister. So, talking about what the sisters actually do to give a sense to some of our younger students as to what their life and vocation is all about.

And then, we’ve got some other events going on. On that Thursday evening, we’re putting together a community meal where we will be inviting parents and other community members, faculty and staff, and students who want to come back, just to share and break bread with our sisters and to hear some of their more individual stories. And, to spend some community time with those sisters, especially for some of those sisters who have traveled in from out of town. And then, we’ll conclude our celebrations on Friday the 24th, after the sisters speak to classes, with, what we call, a Vocational Luncheon. So, just a luncheon for any female students who are interested in religious life. You know, just hearing more about and possibly becoming a sister and what that all entails. So, an opportunity for them to get together with some of our sisters and experience more of that process.

[BREAK]

Nate:
So, for our theme for lent in Campus Ministry here, we have a school-wide theme of “Water in the Desert.” So, how can we be water in the desert for people? You know, lent, the 40 days in the desert. How can our faith? How can scripture? How can all of these different things in our faith bring out that refreshing water? Of course, as we prepare for Easter. And, we are tying that theme together with. . . We have a group of students headed to Guatemala over spring break. And, they’ll be leaving on Holy Thursday, and doing some service work with an organization, Global Partners Running Waters. One of our social studies teachers and a group of about ten students are going down there. And, that non-profit works on water issues and digging wells for the people of Guatemala. So, it all kind of ties together with the sisters who are coming to speak about their experience in Guatemala and Bolivia, as well as the more spiritual aspect of God and the living water and all of those types of themes there. So, I think the Guatemala piece will be the most attractive and interesting piece for our students.

[BREAK]

Phone hangs up and dials out again

Automated Message:
Thank you for calling Dominican High School.

Nate Friday:
Dominican High School, this is Nate.

Pa Ying Vang:
Hi this is Pa Ying calling from National Catholic Sisters Week.

[BREAK]

Pa Ying:
Can I ask you what you learned from this whole event?

I would say. . . You know, the chief thing that we learned was just the impact of any time we can bring one of our sisters or even if it is just one of our Diocesan Priests in the area, and having that presence of our religious sisters, brothers, priests in the building for our students to even just see in the hallways. But, also to be able to have that conversation, and how impactful and transformative that can be for our students. They see that it is just a part of daily life. And, (they can see) the great work that our sisters and religious do in our society. And, looking forward, just on that alone, we want to continue to do events like this and bring those religious into our schools as often as possible.

Pa Ying:
Was there any surprising things that emerged from the event?

Nate:
I think that just the overall engagement of our students of our students. You know, any time you bring in a speaker you know some students are paying attention, or at least they are being respectful, but the genuine desire. We had 16 students, 16 girls, who voluntarily took their lunch hour out and took a part of their day away to simply to have a lunch with our sisters and to really explore that process of discernment a little bit. And, they asked really meaningful questions. And, they weren’t just there for the food or to get out of class or anything like that. But, they were genuinely there to discern their call to, potentially, religious life or even just being open to discussing it. So, I think that for me was the most rewarding experience.

About Be Inspired

A podcast chronicling the success stories of National Catholic Sisters Week - an annual celebration of women religious. Each episode will present interviews with NCSW Mini-Grant recipients to present a picture of the celebration's growth and highlight the valuable impacts of women religious all across the country.