Self-Love
By S. Romina Sapinoso
These past two months have been a time of integration in my discernment as I prepare to make final vows as a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati on Sept. 24, 2022. In the presence of my Sisters, family, Associates, and friends, I will publicly profess the vows of poverty, celibacy, and obedience for life.

The past four years of temporary profession were infused with opportunities for personal growth and rootedness in my call to religious life. I naively assumed the last leg of preparation to be about getting more ground under the ever-shifting circumstances of my life and further insight into the profound questions that never seem to run out.

Not that those things didn’t come to a degree and in varying ways. But the integration I wasn’t expecting came from realizing the real meaning of loving myself at this time of deeper discernment. Self-love in this day and age has unfortunately been commodified to mean bubble baths while sipping wine, buying that lovely but expensive dress, or going to the salon to boost confidence. Not that these aren’t valid forms of taking a break and caring for one’s self. However, I am grateful to be aware of a kind of self-love I didn’t know I most needed during this time of integration.

Our shadows and light come up when we start paying more attention to who we are, especially during discernment. We discover things that affirm us but also those that make us feel shame and guilt. Self-love in the time of increased self-awareness means being present and holding space for yourself. It is noticing your emotions, tending to feelings that would normally make you want to get up and run away, being compassionate with yourself in what you uncover, and finally, trusting that you ARE good. It is telling yourself gently, through the mud of discernment, that it’s okay. This, whatever this happens to be at the moment, also belongs. You can consent to it. Loving yourself is staying with what hurts, saddens, frightens, and delights you to deepen and widen your sense of self-knowledge and acceptance. As you do this for yourself, hopefully, you also start recognizing the God who is doing it in and for you. This nurturing gives room to breathe and creates a welcoming space for the light of discernment and clarity to break in as you feel safer in the You God made and loves beyond comprehension.

As a six on the enneagram, I am learning to embrace myself, aware that I will forever be the doubter, constantly questioning the truth of something, and the perpetual worrier about security and certainty. I still usually exasperate myself primarily as I go over the thoughts in my head on repeat as if that is where I will find answers. It dawned on me that I can easily be patient, present, and listen to others. However, I found it difficult to be merciful and withhold judgment of me through my unbelief, fears, and endless need for reassurance. My last piece of integration was to cultivate kindness for myself intentionally. I still vacillate between deep insights and shallow concerns, the profound and the petty in my discernment, and I always will. But what a relief to know - that, too, is welcome!

A Sister I live with shared what came across as a wake-up call to me. “Life is so short. What a tragedy it would be if we never learned to love ourselves!” In what ways do you need your own love and presence during this period of discernment? Who can support you and offer guidance while you nurture yourself through the bumps along the way and discover all your beautiful gifts? May you find all you need during this sacred time.
Sister of Charity of Cincinnati Romina Sapinoso to Profess Final Vows
S. Romina Sapinoso (right) will profess final vows on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022.
The Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati are pleased to announce the Congregation will celebrate S. Romina Sapinoso’s profession of final vows during a liturgy on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022 at 4 p.m. ET in the Immaculate Conception Chapel at the Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse (Delhi Township).
 
Due to current precautions on the Motherhouse campus, the vow ceremony will be more intimate than the usual communal celebration. Only Sisters, Associates and invited guests will be present with S. Romina in the chapel. 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 (www.srcharitycinti.org). A program to follow along will also be found on the website closer to the Sept. 24 date.
 
Please join us in keeping S. Romina 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. 
Giving Voice National Gathering
More than 70 Sisters under age 50 and from 40-plus religious congregations gathered in San Antonio, Texas, from July 14-17, 2022 for the Giving Voice National Gathering. Taking place at the Oblate Renewal Center, this year’s theme was “Stir into Flame the Gift of Global Sisterhood.” S. Tracy Kemme (pictured, third from left) served as one of the co-chairs for the gathering.
God is Enough: S. Annie Klapheke Professes Final Vows
It wasn’t until the age of 26 that S. Annie Klapheke first realized a call to religious life. And, it wasn’t until her dear friend directly wrote to her and asked, “Have you ever thought about religious life?” that suddenly all her previous thoughts and feelings finally started to make sense. Read More.
Celebrating Our Jubilarians
It was a beautiful week of celebrations at the Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse as Sisters, Associates, family and friends honored the 2022 Jubilarians. Sisters celebrating special anniversaries in 2022 were recognized for their lives of service and faith with a Mass and luncheon on Sunday, Aug. 28 – the birthday of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. To view more photos.
Upcoming Dates & Opportunities
Sept. 15-16, 2022
“Building an Inclusive Community - Young Adults in the 21st Century: A Conversation on Faith, Religion & Culture,” free virtual conference with an amazing line-up of speakers! Find out more and register here.

Sept. 23-26, 2022
Charity Immersion at the Motherhouse

Sept. 24, 2022 
S. Romina Sapinoso’s Final Vows,
4 p.m. ET

Sept. 27, 2022
Feast of St. Vincent de Paul

Oct. 2, 2022
Virtual Faith Sharing Group: “LGBTQIA+ community and the Church,” featuring Patrick Manning, 7:00-8:15 p.m. ET
 
Email Vocation Coordinator
S. Tracy Kemme at vocations@srcharitycinti.org for more information about any of these opportunities.
Three years ago, in 2019, S. Whitney Schieltz professed first vows. In August 2022, with a small group at Visitation House, S. Whitney renewed her vows until the time of perpetual profession. She will spend the next year intentionally preparing for final vows. 
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 erin.reder@srcharitycinti.org. To unsubscribe, click here.

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