"It was really a privilege to be asked to represent Giving Voice at the RFC congress this year. Being a part of Giving Voice has been a blessing for me especially as an immigrant in a religious congregation that is predominantly Caucasian, and where there is a large age and experience gap between me and several of my Sisters. Giving Voice has been that space where I connect with other younger sisters in my age cohort to share ideas and dreams about religious life today and life in general. As I continue to be part of Giving Voice, I have received acceptance, sisterly love and needed support as we venture into the unknown together. I have also had opportunities to share my gifts with the group. One of those times that I shared my gifts was when I represented Giving Voice as an exhibitor with one other Giving Voice sister. This was a blessing especially when many sisters came by our table and informed us that they have sisters who are a part of the Giving Voice group as well.
One of the major highlights of the congress was listening to the keynote speakers sharing their vocation journeys. As a newer member going into vocation ministry and journeying with people discerning religious life. Connecting with formators of different congregations, offered and opportunity to share ideas.
-Sr. Chioma Ahanihu
Being present at RFC as a Giving Voice representative was an opportunity to connect and re-connect with many sisters. Going to RFC, I was most excited about hearing Fr. Bryan Massingale and Sr. Norma Pimentel speak. Both have been fundamental to my own formation, theological studies, and ministry. Hearing them speak challenged me and reenergized me for mission.
It was also a gift to greet others at the Giving Voice table in the exhibitor room. Many sisters were excited to tell Chioma and me about the sisters in their own community who are involved with Giving Voice. Others were not familiar with our organization and eager to hear about our community for sisters under 50. I was amazed at the many connections I already had with sisters whom I had never met.
At the closing banquet, my table included 4 younger sisters and 4 formation directors. The formation directors asked us, “what advice would you give to us?” We talked about taking risks, being with the people at the margins, and the many ways that our community’s respective charisms live in us. Sharing our stories affirmed my own commitment to religious life and the sacredness we all experience when we have opportunities to come together and learn from one another.
-Sr. Eilis McCulloh, HM