Paying Attention to the Path
By S. Whitney Schieltz
My journey with the Sisters of Charity began in January 2014 when I stumbled across an event for young women wanting to learn more about religious life. At the time, I wasn’t consciously considering that path for myself; yet, I couldn’t quite ignore my curiosity and decided to check it out. My curiosity tends to lead me down unexpected paths. Fast forward nearly one decade, and here I am professing my perpetual vows as a Sister – an unexpected path indeed! 

In preparation for this life commitment, I recently spent a long weekend on retreat to enjoy some solitude and reflection. As I’ve been doing for the past several years, I spent my retreat at the Cedars of Peace hermitages, where a collection of cozy cabins is nestled in the expansive woods of Nerinx, Kentucky. One of my favorite pastimes here is exploring the web of hiking trails that weaves through the woods. Brightly colored trail markers are hung on trees to define the paths; however, a strong storm earlier in the year had caused significant damage to the woods that sometimes made it difficult to discern in which direction the trail continued. My hikes were still as enjoyable as ever, but the variation from previous visits meant that I had to slow down from my usual pace and pay closer attention to where I was going.

A sucker for metaphors, I immediately recognized the parallels between my adventure in the woods and the path that had brought me to this point in my life. After every few steps, I would scan the trees around me to spot another bright orange marker, and I would remember a time in my life when I was searching for a sign, for some indication of what I should do next. Sometimes the signs are clear, like a bright orange diamond nailed to the middle of a thick tree trunk straight ahead. But other times you have to pause and take a good look around, lest you overlook the orange diamond that fell off its tree and now beckons you from the forest floor. 

I often find that it’s in these moments of pause, of really paying attention to your surroundings, that you get the most richness from your journey. You feel the breeze brush across your face, you smell the faint scent of wood-burning stoves, you hear the rustling of squirrels in the leaves. You experience God. Rather than go into autopilot mode and just march through the woods from marker to marker, I appreciated the reminder on this trip to slow down and take in the life around and within me.

Now, as I profess my perpetual vows and complete my time of initial formation, I pray that my days continue to be graced with moments of stillness so that I may always be filled with a deep awareness of God’s presence.
Sister of Charity of Cincinnati Whitney Schieltz to Profess Final Vows
The Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati are pleased to announce the congregation will celebrate S. Whitney Schieltz’s profession of final vows during a liturgy on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023 at 4 p.m. ET in the Immaculate Conception Chapel at the Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse (Delhi Township).

Sisters, Associates and invited guests will be present with S. Whitney in the chapel for the celebration. Friends of the Sisters of Charity Community are invited to join via livestream. The link will be posted on the home page of the Sisters of Charity website ( A program to follow along can also be found here.

Please join us in keeping S. Whitney in our prayers as she meets her grace in this moment of her commitment as a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati. Community members are most grateful for her ‘yes’ and for this joyful celebration of faithful witness, community and commitment. 
S. Tracy Participates in Young Adult Synodal Pilgrimage
In September S. Tracy Kemme traveled to Italy with the Discerning Deacons Young Adult Synodal Pilgrimage. Discerning Deacons engages Catholics in reimagining women’s roles in the Church, specifically restoring women to the diaconate. Sixteen young adults from across North America were invited to Rome to celebrate and bear witness to the start of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. For the first time in the Church’s history, this assembly involved lay voting members, including women and young people. The meeting comes as part of the worldwide Synod on Synodality, a process of listening and dialogue initiated by Pope Francis in 2021 to hear from the whole People of God.

The mission of the Young Adult Pilgrimage, in addition to bearing witness to this historic moment as synodal ambassadors for U.S communities, was to encounter delegates in a posture of support and prayer. Throughout the experience and after the opening Mass of the synod on Oct. 4, the group met and prayed with more than 25 delegates, who were genuinely touched by the support. “Encountering women delegates was especially moving, for both them and us, as they prepared to enter spaces and roles never before filled by women,” S. Tracy recalled. “They seemed genuinely touched and buoyed by our cheerleading, and they were generous in entrusting their prayers to us. … Whether they requested it or not, we prayed courage and strength over each of them – brilliant, loving, prophetic disciples who are making a new way in the Church. I hold each one with deep affection, grateful that they were in the synod room.”
Building Futures, Empowering Lives

Through its financial literacy training, community building and housing development, Working In Neighborhoods is working to better communities and educate residents to improve their lives and the neighborhoods they live in. Read More.
National Vocation Awareness Week:
Nov. 5-11, 2023
Join the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati Nov. 5-11, 2023 as we take part in National Vocation Awareness Week, an annual celebration dedicated to promote vocations to ordained ministry and consecrated life through prayer, invitation and education. Tune in throughout the week at @cincyscvocations to hear the compelling vocation stories of our newer members. 
Recommended Resource
The National Religious Vocation Conference has a collection of resources available for National Vocation Awareness Week. Through a new, interactive storymap, visitors will find featured audio, video, articles, an interactive events calendar and more! Our own S. Tracy is spotlighted. Check it out.
Upcoming Dates & Opportunities
Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, 4 p.m. ET – S. Whitney Schieltz’s Final Vows (To view via livestream, see information above.)

Nov. 5-11, 2023 – National Vocation Awareness Week (Be sure to check out our daily content at @cincyscvocations)!

Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, 10 a.m. to noon ET, Zoom – Culture and Discernment reflection with discerners from across the country. RSVP here by Nov. 6.

Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, 7 to 8:30 p.m. ET, Zoom – Advent discernment reflection group with the Sisters of Charity Federation.

Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023, 7-9 p.m. – Advent Ignatian Yoga and Taize for young adults at the SC Motherhouse chapel. Promo and registration forthcoming! Check our events page and Instagram for updates.
Contact Vocation Coordinator S. Tracy Kemme by texting 513-400-4628 or emailing for more information about any of the above opportunities.
E-Vōc is the electronic newsletter from the Vocations Team of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati for single women wondering what new thing God is calling forth in their lives. To join the E-Vōc mailing list, contact Erin Reder at To unsubscribe, click here.

If you are interested in learning more about life as a Sister of Charity, visit our website at