Kate McGowan is a young woman who works for the Archdiocese of New York and is currently living with the Missionary Sisters in their community on East 15th Street in Manhattan. In a recent interview she shared her thoughts about the experience and how it has impacted her life.
What led you to live in community with the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus?
I have always felt comfortable with all the Sisters and see them as an extension of my family because of my moms connection with them over all these years.
The Sisters are welcoming of everyone. I volunteered at Cabrini Immigrant Services in Dobbs Ferry, New York before coming to live with them and noticed how they helped each individual. No one was turned away; every person was greeted with a smile. How could this opportunity of living with them be anything but a good experience?
How has this experience been a help to you regarding your call in life and personal development?
I like going to Church and being around spiritual people. At my age it is hard to find this kind of combination (a group of people who go to Church and talk in terms of community). Whenever I find such groups in my life, they are people with whom I want to be connected. Such contact has influenced me in getting my professional degree in Theology.
I see cutthroat attitudes around me and realize I could be that way too. However, Im a people-person who wants to help others and put them before me. This type of experience makes me feel secure in how I want to be despite other types of behavior. I bring this to my job and want to continue like this in all my endeavors.
What have you learned about community, prayer and mission as a result of this experience?
Community: I think it is important to see how people from different backgrounds interact. In this particular community, each individual comes from a different environment and it is great to see how they are connected through their spirituality. I feel confident this is true all of their communities, since this is my second experience, and with two very different groups of individuals.
Prayer: My idea of prayer has broadened as a result of these experiences in community. Its a good feeling to be around people who share what is important to them. Through prayer we are able to get a greater sense of who each person is, because its a safe environment in which each person shares from her heart.
Mission: Each person has a different job but we all believe in what Mother Cabrinis philosophy and sense of mission was, and so we try to live by her example. Even though my job isnt the same as a Cabrini Mission Corps missioners, I still approach my work with the same love and compassion as each community member does in her mission work.
Read past "Companions on the Journey" stories...
Learn more about Cabrini Immigrant Services: http://www.cabrini-eldercare.org
Learn more about Cabrini Immigrant Services, NYC: http://www.mothercabrini.org/ministries/cab_imm_henry.asp
Learn more about the ministries of the Missionary Sisters - http://www.mothercabrini.org/sisters/sister.asp