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Evansville, Indiana
November 6, 1987     The Message
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November 6, 1987

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2 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana November 6, 1987 I Vocations: heeding the call to serve the Lord 'i I I I [I I Two enter Benedictine order I Nun talks about experiences in "school of life" SALLA AND LOWE By MARY T. ELLERT Message Staff Writer As a child growing up in Louisville, Ky., Anita Lowe remembers her parents reading a vocations prayer to her and her older sister while they ate breakfast, The warm memory of this morning scene still burns bright for Lowe, who is one of two new members of the Sisters of St. Benedict at Ferdinand. Lowe, 22, and Cathryn Salla, 21,. recently began the first phase of their spiritual forma- tion -- the postulancy. Although they said it is hard to inpoint exactly when they first eard the call to the religious life, the two recalled events from their childhood that may have planted the seeds. "When we were young, we didn't have a lot of money," said Salla, one of two children raised on a farm in Springfield, Me. "It was just the four of us out there on the farm with the dogs, cats and ponies," she smiled, explaining they didn't regularly go to movies or restaurants because they couldn't afford it. "That set my values very much people and creation- oriented as opposed to thing- oriented," she said. Later, Salla worked with children in a "ministering kind of role" as a staff member at a diocesan summer camp where she made contacts in communi- ty life. Salla and Lowe met two years ago during their undergraduate years at Brescia College, Owensboro, Ky. One fall, Salla attended a Benedictine contact program at Ferdinand with Lowe, a 1983 graduate of Marian Heights Academy, a prep boarding school run by the Sisters of St. Benedict. Why did they choose to join the Benedictine community? "There's an emphasis on try- ing to strike that balance of prayer and work; leisure and study -- that whole idea of not over-emphasizing one thing but striving to get all in modera- tion," said Lowe. i SCHNELL VILLE As postulants, Lowe and Salla attend classes, meals and prayers with the members of the community. They may also be expected to help with the chores around the convent -- for example, Lowe works in the laundry once a week. After postulancy, usually not quite a full year, new members may enter the novitiate -- "a very intense year of study and also examining and discern- ing." The times when tam- porary vows and final profes- sions are made are determined by the individual candidates -- and the community. "It's a mutual discernment process," according to Salla. I IN ADDITION to their duties as postulants, both women are busy in the classroom. Lowe teaches English and French at Marian Heights, and Salla is do- ing her student teaching in the field of social studies at Forest Park High School, also in Ferdinand. Even though the number of vocations to the religious life may be on the downswing, the two new postulants are op- timistic about the future. "I think religious life will always be an important part of the church," explained Salla. "You're never going to eliminate the need for people who will dedicate their lives to that." FOR COMPLETE ELECTRICAL SERVICE H.G. FISCHER RT. 1 ST. ANTHONY By MARY T. ELLERT Message Staff Writer The call to religious life is not reserved for the young. Just ask Sister Mary Clare Klug, Order of St. Clare. She entered the con- templative community almost three years ago at the age of 58, bringing with her a past rich with experience and service for the Lord. Sister Mary Clare is one of three former Sisters of Notre Dame from Covington, Ky., who now live at the Monastery of St. Clare after spending several years outside of the religious community -- in the "school of life." She was a Notre Dame sister for 28 years before leaving the order in 1974. For ten years, she worked in the inner-city schools and group homes for the retarded in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area. In that time she also earned a Masters degree from Xavier University. Despite all her new ex- periences in the "school of life," she discovered she still had "a hankering for communi- ty again." At a Mass in Cincin- nati, she met a former Notre Dame sister, Sister Mary An- toinette, who invited her to visit the Monastery of St. Clare, which was then located on Ken- tucky Avenue in Evansville. "I always tell the Lord, 'If you want me to do it, put it on my heart, but if not, then let me forget it.' It kept coming back and coming back, so I wrote the sister and made the ar- rangements. I went there Memorial Day weekend, right before they moved," she ex- plained. "I walked in that monastery and immediately, a peace came over me. I just became like one of them. I felt like I was back in a community again." 00UI1BUR00 00rA,nCP CL400 co SERVING THE TRI-STATE AREA COMMERC/AL - RELIGIOUS- RESIDENTIAL- COMM/SS/ONS Original Designs Restorations & Appraisals Clear & Colored Bevels Mirror & Plate Glass Lamps Custom Storm Protection Etching & Sandblasting Classes & Supplies 853-0460- 20 W JENNINGS, NEWBURGH _ I / / I The Only Bank With Person to Personal Banking ,,?,I: BANK Sister Mary Clare compared her decision to enter the Poor Clares to the decision she made over 40 years ago to join the Sisters of Notre Dame. "It's a different discernment when you're 18 and when you're 58," she commented. "When you're 58, it's more of a move of the spirit inside you." After several months of prayer and discernment, Sister Mary Clare returned to Evansville to visit the new monastery, located on Nur- renbern Road. She entered the community in December, 1984, was invested three months later and made her first vows after two. years. In three years, she will make her solemn commit- ment to the community. According to Sister Mary Clare, the Poor Clares "took a risk" by accepting the former Sisters of Notre Dame. The community had to adjust to the new, older members, she said. SISTER MARY CLARE ' "We come with our ideas about things because we've had a lot of other religious ex- perience," she explained. "We were completely independent. It isn't like a girl coming from her family where she was dependent upon her parents. The sisters have really adjusted, to us by trying to accept us as we are." Educating parish prfcsts for 1z6 years 47