Putting Felician Spirituality into Action

Sr. Catherine Marie-Elizabeth Rotterman’s Novice Experience

As a second-year novice, Sr. Catherine Rotterman spends time living in different Felician communities around North America.

When she was a high school student in Lancaster, NY, Catherine Rotterman interviewed Sr. Mary Johnice Rzadkiewicz, executive director of Response to Love Center in Buffalo, NY for a journalism project. The interview took place over the phone, and they never met in person until Sr. Catherine, now a novice Felician Sister, spent six weeks immersed in community and ministry with Sr. Johnice, living and working beside someone she has long admired.

Before professing her vows, a young woman who wants to become a Felician Sister spends one year as a postulant and two years as a novice. During the two-year novitiate, the first year is focused on spirituality, deepening the candidate’s prayer life and understanding of Felician charism. The second year is devoted to community ministry experience, giving her a chance to put that Felician spirituality into action.

Sr. Catherine, a second-year novice who will profess her vows in October, has an interest in serving people in need. She listens to God’s voice in her life and talks to Director of Novices Sr. Christina Marie Conroy, about how to answer God’s call.

Under Sr. Christina’s guidance, Sr. Catherine had a chance to work at various social ministries, including Kolbe House Jail Ministry in Chicago, before coming “home” to Buffalo. Her diverse ministry and community experiences have helped her to grow, giving her spiritual gifts and deepening her commitment to the vows she will take. At Response to Love Center, for example, she witnessed acts of generosity from clients in the clothing distribution room. “It’s a model of generosity that I hope to imitate,” she says. “That was a gift to me.” She also spent time with recent immigrants and refugees taking English classes at Response to Love. She recalls, “Their strength and courage to start something new was a gift to me as well.” Preparing to profess vows to live poor, chaste and obedient, these gifts of courage and generosity strengthen Sr. Catherine’s commitment to the life of a Felician Sister. She reflects,

“The things that I think are my own — my time and my energy, my life story, my knowledge, the insights and reflections I get in my time with prayer — they are not given to me just for my own sake. They are given to me for building up the body of Christ.”

Future Felicians: Sr. Catherine with postulants Monica and Veronica at a visit in Milwaukee, WI.

In each ministry she has visited, Sr. Catherine has had a chance to live in community with Felician Sisters. She appreciates the diversity of community life she has experienced this year. Living with other Felician Sisters gave her some new insights about community life. “I’ve been impressed by the care and love I’ve witnessed,” she says. “It’s not just sharing an address and everyone wearing brown clothes. It’s building relationships based on spirituality. These are the kinds of relationships I hope everybody has in their life.”

Have you thought about becoming a sister? We would ♥ to chat!
Call, text or email Sr. Judy Blizzard at 734-718-0632

Sr. Jane Gawlik at 210-845-7940
Vocation@FelicianSisters.org. Or learn more here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Serving where needed since 1874

Founded in Poland in 1855, the Felician Sisters are a congregation of women religious inspired by the spiritual ideals of their foundress, Blessed Mary Angela Truszkowska, and Saints Francis of Assisi, Clare of Assisi and Felix of Cantalice. Arriving in North America in 1874 following Blessed Mary Angela’s directive “to serve where needed,” they helped to weave the social service system. Today, the Felician Sisters founded, sponsor or support through the presence of our sisters, more than 40 ministries – all continuing to evolve to meet the needs of the people they serve.

Sign up for our e-newsletter

Provincial Offices

Provincial Information

  • Felician Sisters of North America is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization.
  • EIN 27-1282473
Felician Sisters of North America