Sustenance & Wholeness

Reflection shared after Issues Night with the Sisters of Charity by Nora Bosslet, 2017-2018 BSCer serving with the Opportunity Center for the Homeless in El Paso, TX.

In my head, I imagined a “sister” as a nun from The Sound of Music, covered from head to foot, stuck in a church, living under the intense patriarchy of the Catholic Church. Turns out, the Sisters are far more bada** than my previous conception.

Last week, the Sisters of Charity came to Casa de Paz for an issues night. These sisters look like everyday ladies. They do incredible work, ranging from providing services in Anapra, Mexico for children with disabilities and their families, to spiritual outreach in the jail and local homeless shelter, to refugee services. These women take on the burdens of this world with strength and wisdom. All have had rich past experiences that brought them to the Sisters of Charity, which helps them to serve their communities effectively and compassionately.

The Sisters spoke on the topics of sustenance and wellness, which is BSC’s theme for November. They provided a variety of recommendations for wellness within intense fields of work. They spoke on the importance of community support, time for intentional quiet with others, knowing your emotional boundaries, and of course, time for fiesta. They shared many personal and relatable anecdotes which helped us all to understand the challenges and rewards of living in community while dedicating your life to services, as well as the many ways that God provides.

As this past weekend was Thanksgiving, I’ve thought a lot about those practices and people in my life who are truly life giving and sustaining to which I am incredibly thankful for. For example, Thursday morning I dressed up as pie with Monica and Hannah and ran in the Turkey Trot. I was struck by how much joy and energy I got from being totally wacky with two good friends and making strangers laugh. Although I can’t dress up as a pie everyday (sadly, it’s not part of my work dress code), I can be intentional about just being my silly self. The Sisters spoke to the power of unconditional love and support as a basis for their community, and how it allows them to take risks and know that they are supported in their everyday lives. This knowledge for me, that my roommates will not shun me when I dress up like pie while in public, but rather, join me, greatly attributes to my wellness.

Thanks Sisters for sharing with us!

Nora