As one of the final events sponsored by the Council of Religious of the Diocese of San Jose celebrating the Year of Consecrated Life, a panel of six, gave a presentation on religious life to about 40 seminarians at Saint Patrick’s Seminary on the morning of October 24.
To begin the morning’s activities Father Gladstone Stevens, PSS, Rector of Saint Patrick’s Seminary invited the panel to liturgy and breakfast.
The panelists: Sister Elizabeth Avalos, BVM, Brother David Betz, SM, Sister Dee Myers, BVM, Sister Molly Neville, SNJM, Sister Rosalie Pizzo, SNDdeN and Gillian Wallace, talked about their present and past ministries and their hopes for future collaboration with the seminarians after ordination.
Gillian Wallace, a faculty member at Notre Dame University in Belmont, is in discernment to become a member of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. She shared her struggle of accepting God’s call to religious life and her peacefulness once she made the decision to begin the process.
Sister Molly shared her experiences as a vocation director for the Monterey Diocese and her present ministry as retreat director and Director of Associates for the Holy Names Sisters.
Brother David spoke about his vocation as a Brother, which he explained is not a stepping stone to priesthood but the culmination of his discernment to become a Religious. Brother David is presently activities director at the Marianist Retirement Center in Cupertino and works with the Marianist Affiliates in the Pacific area.
Sister Dee is a former Pastoral Associate at Saint Matthias Parish, Redwood City, and is presently a spiritual director and a presider at burial services.
Sister Elizabeth facilitates groups on issues such as nonviolence and human trafficking. She also is a former Coordinator of Associates and spoke of the growing Associate/Affliate movement which is providing lay women and men the opportunity to deepen their spiritual lives and engage in social justice activities with men and women religious.
After the large group presentation, the panel members and seminarians formed small groups where they engaged in a mutual and lively exchange of questions, concerns and experiences of serving in ministry with today’s church.
Thanks to Sister Rosalie, Bishop’s Delegate to Religious for the Diocese of San Jose, for coordinating this event and facilitating the panel presentation. It was the hope of the panelists that the seminarians gain a greater awareness of present day Religious Life.