The year 2020 has been an incredible roller coaster of personal and public experiences. I began the year with a serious car accident that kept me bedridden for three months. It was not the way I had expected to spend the season of Lent but I soon realized that I was being offered a gift I never expected.
I spent most of January through March either in the hospital or in supportive living at our Motherhouse. During this time, I was blessed to experience the incredible gift of being a member of my religious community. When I entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1961, I was following an interior call that I really did not fully understand. I only knew that something deep within me knew that this is where I needed and wanted to be. I couldn’t say what specifically drew me to religious life but I knew without a doubt that I was being called to join the Sisters in Baden.
Our Congregation is known as a congregation of great love. It was and is that “great love” that I had witnessed in the Sisters who taught me. There was always a warmth and acceptance of my unique self. These past 59 years have presented to me a myriad of opportunities to seek to mirror that same great love of God. But none were so powerful as the manner in which my Sisters cared for me.
Our early documents speak of a group of ordinary women who were drawn together through prayer. Their desire to share the Gospel of Jesus led them to go out into the city and bring women in to be educated and to eventually be able to care for themselves and their loved ones. This manner of being in true relationship with their “dear neighbor” continues to be the hallmark of our sisters.
During this pandemic, our Sisters continue to reach out in love to the “dear neighbor” even when physical presence may not be possible because of COVID-19 concerns.
Our ministry of intentional prayer is even more powerful than my legal ministry caring for children. The numerous requests for prayers and the responses when those prayers are answered witness to a relationship with the “dear neighbor” that transcends any physical impediment. This draws me to continue to live in this Congregation of Great Love.
-Sister Rita Murillo, CSJ
Read more reflections from our Sisters about the gifts of religious life during a global pandemic.