Sister Barbara O'Kane, M.P.F.

Sister Barbara O'Kane, M.P.F.


What roles do you play in vocation ministry?

I've been vocation director for my community, the Religious Teachers Filippini, for two years. Before that I used to participate in vocation events and prayer gatherings with discerners whenever possible. Also, I recently became an NRVC member area coordinator for Delaware Valley, alongside Sister Marianne Lallone, I.H.M.

Are you part of a vocation team?

While everyone has a role to play in vocation ministry, I do much of the legwork of traveling, participating in events, and communicating with discerners and young adult organizations to allow our sisters to focus on their ministries. The sisters always love joining in our vocation activities, and the young women discerning enjoy spending time with them too. And of course, the powerhouse of prayer our sisters provide is a great support.

Has being a member of NRVC been helpful?

NRVC has been vital to me in this ministry! From the very comprehensive orientation program and ongoing professional development courses, to the  engagement with other vocation directors throughout the country for sharing ideas and support, to the timely and effective articles in HORIZON and the assistance of VISION to connect with women considering religious life, I don’t know what I’d do without the NRVC.

How have you been ministering during the pandemic?

The pandemic definitely is challenging to vocation ministry since so much of it  involves making that personal connection. However, COVID-19 has shown how flexible religious are in adapting to whatever comes our way. Like everyone else in the world, I’ve been using Zoom. It lets me meet with other vocation directors, participate in workshops, and gather virtually with young adults for prayer, adoration, and vocation promotion.

What do you find most rewarding in your work?

I truly feel honored to serve in this role of assisting others in discovering God’s plan for their lives. It is a sacred privilege. I know I am most grateful to those who were there for me when I felt God’s subtle and at the same time intense call to religious life.  A great reward for me is to return the favor and be there for those considering God's call now.

Would you like to share a fun fact about yourself?

I really enjoy rewriting popular songs to teach the faith and promote religious life. For instance, I changed Billy Joel's "Only the Good Die Young" into "A Day in the Life of a Nun"!

Contact Sister Barbara at vocations@filippiniusa.org.



Published on: 2020-12-01


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