Sr. Rosario, one of the Little Sisters stationed at our Home, cares for the Residents each day and directs our Lourdes Unit, which is home to 25 long term Residents. In addition to her nursing duties, Sr. Rosario is also the Vocations Director for the Little Sisters here in the Northwest Ohio area.
When interviewed recently about Vocations Awareness Week, Sr. Rosario shared that the Little Sisters of the Poor have been working in collaboration with other women religious organizations in the Diocese of Toledo to promote vocation awareness. She recently attended a meeting that included representatives of the Sisters of Notre Dame, the Ursuline Sisters, the Sisters of St. Francis of Tiffin, the Adrian Dominican Sisters, and the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Monroe, Michigan. The Sisters planned how they could work together to promote and foster more vocations to religious life here within the Diocese. Starting this year, the group will sponsor joint “discernment days” for interested young women to visit the convents/ motherhouses of the different orders to witness firsthand their varied and diverse missions. The Little Sisters of the Poor will be one of the stops on these future tours conducted twice a year and referred to as the “Nun Run”.
In addition to this collaborative effort, Sr. Rosario shared that many local high school students volunteer at the Home doing service hours required by their schools. By spending some time here with the Little Sisters; working with them as they serve the elderly poor, helping with planned activities, worshiping in daily liturgy, and interacting with the staff of the Home, these youth are given firsthand experience what it means to be a Little Sister. Many of the young girls get to be friends with the Sisters and become regular volunteers. By witnessing to their vocation through the practical example of their daily lives, the Little Sisters happily show how fulfilling their lives are to these young students.
Sr. Rosario also makes an effort to reach out to the young college age women of the area by contacting the Catholic youth organizations at the local Universities. In addition to this outreach, we also have a unique relationship with Lourdes University nursing students, the University of Toledo Medical College nursing and pharmacy students, and the Owens Technical College nursing students. These schools of higher education have partnered with the Little Sisters by having their students complete required practicum training for their medical studies. The students work at the Home for a required few weeks of hands on experience helping us care for the Residents. The feedback we have received from these students has been very positive and for some even life changing. One nursing student recently shared with us that she had made up her mind to go into long-term care nursing because of her positive experience here at the Home. Getting to know a Little Sister may be about the best way to experience their Mission and witness their great love for the elderly.
During this Vocation Awareness week, Sr. Rosario stated that she believes “many young people today are questioning and exploring what God wants of them.” “We are always open to young people coming to our Home and discerning how God is calling them to serve him.” The Little Sisters offer a unique experience in a “Day of Service & Prayer” at the Home, where young people can work with the Sisters and pray together with them. Also, the Little Sisters and their Residents offer a special “Vocation Rosary” each Thursday at 4:30PM. The Residents take very seriously their commitment to pray for vocations.
During this Vocations Awareness week, let us pray for all those who are discerning a vocation to the priesthood and religious life. May our Lord grant them the grace that they need to answer His call with great love and generosity.
For those interested in learning more about a vocation to the Little Sisters, Sr. Rosario can be reached at 419-698-4331 or firstname.lastname@example.org.