The strength of community
Have you ever experienced walking into a room full of women and becoming acutely aware of walking on holy ground as the perception of the Holy Spirit surrounds you? That is the strength of community, and that is the dimension of community I experience in Theresians. When I was in my thirties, as a new Theresian I went to a day of prayer at the Cenacle and when I entered the retreat room, I will never forget that feeling. It was a warmth of God’s love, of the Spirit of all those women’s energy in one room that just radiated like a star to me. I thought that day I hope someday to be like them.
March 5, 2022, I attended the Fort Bend Theresian Day of Prayer with our new executive director, Tammy Townsend Denny as our guest speaker. The title was “The Feminine Breath of God.” I reflected on how we have come a long way from our inception as a religious foundation of 1961 with Monsignor Elwood Voss, and Patricia Mullen, then our Executive Director Sister Roseann Barmann, OSB. In 2000 we called forth Vicki Schmidt who was the first single lay woman. In 2021, Tammy Townsend Denny, who is married with children and a converted Catholic with a career became our executive director, and most of us can relate to her vocation. She spoke about how her faith seed was planted in her journey with God by a Baptist woman Sunday school teacher. Just from her description alone, I will take the liberty to say this Sunday school teacher has all qualities of an honorary Theresian. Tammy has a strong foundation in Gospel values and a thirst for learning that has brought her to Theresians. The day of prayer was her first large group experience as speaker as she spoke of the Feminine Breath of God through the examples of Eve, the Wisdom of Sophia, and of Mary Magdalene.
So, why do I speak of this day of prayer? Imagine the energy of one and multiply that by the energy of all the women of a Theresian Day of Prayer! Our awareness and perception are enhanced with community and all the dimensions come together in community. We were Educated; we shared our stories (Ministry); we prayed as one and in Community which builds our Spirituality; and, we shared our stories as we go home and live our Vocation as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and member of our church and work community.
How we receive each day within our perception and how we respond to it is our journey; we are all on the journey of transformation and in Theresian community we see the reflection of God’s love and have a safe place “to Be.” In this 2022, coming out of our post COVID experience, we are challenged to rekindle our relationships and to rebuild our community as an example of God’s love.