Get to Know the Sisters!

In this episode, Rocky Pierson shares her conversation with #NCSW2017 mini-grant recipient Sr Lorraine Reaume. Sr Lorraine talks about service and sisters speed dating, community outreach, and engaging with their local community during the Adrian Dominican Sisters event, Get to Know the Sisters!

Transcript:
Phone rings and picks up

Sr Lorraine Reaume:
Hi, Sr Lorraine Reaume. I’m Director of Formation with the Adrian Dominican Sisters. And, I also was the Coordinator of our Planning Committee for National Catholic Sisters Week. And, this year we had an event called Get to Know the Sisters! We wanted to give people a chance to get to know us a little better, and we decided to focus on speed dating with the sisters. So, we planned to have an optional mass that people can come to. And then, we have a reception with food available, tours and displays, but the main activity is going to be a chance to sit down for ten-minute session and move from sisters to sister and have different conversations. We even have some conversation starters if people aren’t sure what questions to ask. So, there will be ten different sisters there available to have a conversation with and learn a little bit more about our lives. We’ve brainstormed a number of sisters who might enjoy doing that and being involved in it. So, we’ve got ten sisters who are committed to being part of that.

[BREAK]

Rocky Pierson:
So, conversation starters. Do you guys have any ideas?

Sr Lorraine:
Yeah, things like . . . How did you know you wanted to be a sister? What drew you to the Adrian Dominican Sisters in particular? What was your favorite ministry, and why? What do you like about being a sister? What was your biggest challenge? And, what was your greatest adventure you’ve had in religious life?

We thought about some of the things people usually ask us; the things people usually want to know. So, we tried to come up with questions that matched that.

Rocky:
That’ll be great.

Sr Lorraine:
Yeah! One hope too is to break down, you know, people have stereotypes. And we find that, as people get to know us, they find out, you know, (we’re) welcoming. And, sometimes you see people how are older, and they think of them as, you know, sweet little old ladies. And, they realize, “oh, you used to run this university,” and “oh, you’re on your general counsel,” or “you were a missionary and did all of these things.” So, it helps people just to get to know, first of all, we’re warm and welcoming, and, also, we’ve just had fascinating lives and are really excited about sharing all of the different things that we’ve done.

[BREAK]

Sr Lorraine:
We’re going to also. . . Well, we’ve found that people were really interested in our Chapel and Historical area and Retreat Center. People really loved going to those for a tour. And, actually, we’re also going to have bingo cards. So, you get them stamped as you visit each of these places and do each event as part of this. So, there will be a draw for a prize of that. And then, we want people to know about the different things we do. So, we’re going to tell them about our Office of Justice, Peace, and the Integrity of Creation and the things that we are involved in there. And, we have our literacy center here. We have seven around the country, but one right here in Adrian. So, we want people to know about that as a volunteer opportunity. And also, we have a permaculture site, that’s working with land in a natural way. And, we find local people are really fascinated with that. And, we have a community garden that local people can even be part of. And then, we’ll also have a display of vocations for vowed live and associate live. And, finally, we want to have a table for our sisters in the Philippines as well. We’re in a special effort to support one of their schools there. So, we hope to raise awareness about all of those areas where we minister and serve.

[BREAK]

Phone ringing

Rocky:
So, we can just kind of reflect on the event itself. So, I guess I’ll just ask, first of all, how it went.

Sr Lorraine:
Well, it was good. It was a good experience. About 60 people came. So, we really enjoyed having them there. They really seemed to enjoy the liturgy and, for those who haven’t been there before, having the chance to see the mother house. We had some really good conversations as people passed around from sister to sister. It was really nice to be able to . . . It turned into kind of mutual conversations, you know, getting to know each other. And, a number of the sisters who served as one of the sisters to speed date, they expressed to me that they really enjoyed their conversations and just a chance to share their lives and also to get to know some of the people from our local community. So, it was a positive experience all around.

Rocky:
Good! That sounds like so much fun.

Sr Lorraine:
Yeah, it was. It really was fun. What was really neat too, was the way all of the sisters came together because not only did we have sisters volunteer to be a speed dating sister, but we also had stamp stations. So, people came around and, you know, when you got food, there was a stamp station, and when they visited a sister, there was a stamp station. So then, you got stamped at all of those stations, and then you got entered in, and there was a draw for prizes at the end. And so, at each of those stations, sisters volunteered, and sisters volunteered to give the tours. So, it wasn’t just the speed dating sisters, but people got to interact with all sorts of sister volunteers. Everyone came together to help make this a successful event.

[BREAK]

Static from a VHS tape

Sr Lorraine:
Twice now, we’ve done inviting people into the motherhouse. And so, what we feel, now, is that people how wanted to come in or who have always wondered, ‘what’s in there,’ they’ve had the chance to come in. We’re not in that big of a city, so they’ve been here. So, what we want to do next year--we’re already starting to plan brainstorm for next year-- we want to do something that goes out. We’re looking at something that could either be a service project or even, you know, we have this famous Spotted Cow ice cream shop that everybody loves and even having a ‘meet at the Spotted Cow with the sisters.’ Doing something that involves going out and getting to know people in the community and just having interactions out in our local area. So, we’re kind of excited about that.

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.