I am NRVC: Sister Maria Therese Healy, O. Carm.

I am NRVC: Sister Maria Therese Healy, O. Carm.


Vocation Director, Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm

How long have you been in vocation ministry?
I’ve been full time since 2003.

Who else is involved?
I have a contact vocation sister in each of our homes who serves as a member of our Vocation Steering Committee. I am also part of the formation team, which includes two members of leadership, the novice director, postulant director, and the temporary vow director. Everyone on the formation team is also part of the Vocation Steering Committee.

Has being a member of NRVC been helpful?
Yes! The NRVC and its resources continue to be a great support in all our vocation endeavors. We consistently look to NRVC for how best to move forward in our times. The NRVC-CARA study and the programs developed since then have been a touchstone in educating ourselves and forming our own best practices.

Also, the relationships built at NRVC conferences, regional meetings, committees, etc. have truly helped me maintain a global view of vocations. These relationships have  helped me build a collective wisdom that continually encourages and supports me.

What has been your best vocation effort?
Our SALT Mission Program. SALT (Serving the Aged Lovingly Today) is meant to foster relationships between young  adults, the sisters, and the elderly through daily encounters prayer, service, and recreation. Two of our current novices participated in this program.

Moving Forward in Hope: Keys to the Future program (Keys) was chosen by leadership as a mandatory community workshop to be presented in each local community in 2013-2014. This has been a very inspiring experience in unexpected ways. We have been heartened by the deep desire of our sisters to continue the journey together, with a collective deep hope that despite diminishment and a sense that it will be different, our mission will continue in the church. The Keys process has helped motivate members to take ownership of vocations. It has also helped the community identify how we need to change in order to successfully invite in a new generation.

Any words of wisdom to new vocation directors?

Four things:

  1. It is vital for the vocation director to build a good support system in and out of community.
  2. Take care of your own health and be faithful to your Sabbath time.
  3. Remember that while vocation ministry is the task of few, it is the responsibility of the whole community.
  4. Maintain a good sense of humor! This is essential to navigate your way through the many experiences unique to this ministry.

What do you find most rewarding about vocation ministry?

The sincerity of the women whom I have had the privilege to accompany on this journey. Each one has mirrored in some way the grace within my own call and the incredible love of God, who continues to call me to be a lifegiver, a living presence of love in the world.



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