Love in Action: Conversations with Women Religious

BY ISN STAFFDecember 21, 2012


Around the globe, “women for others” have been working for the rights of others, and we call these women religious Sisters. These women have committed to lives of service, simplicity, and faith and spend countless hours working in the areas of, for instance, education, domestic violence, women’s rights, faith development, and homelessness. Sister Helen Prejean and Mother Teresa are two well-known Sisters to be named, women who have shaken the comfort levels and understandings of what it means to live simply and radically for others. The voices of Sisters must be heard and highlighted, and the University of San Francisco community is fortunate to have many direct connections with a number of local Orders of Sisters. In turn, three students and one Resident Minister from the University of San Francisco came together to highlight and support the work of religious Sisters living in the Bay Area of California, resulting in the short film, “Love in Action.” In the words of Mother Teresa, “Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action.” Each Sister in the film lives a life of “love in action” through local and global justice ministries, moving beyond a number of margins.

LOVE IN ACTION Team Members:
Lauryn Gregorio is from Northern California and is currently a sophomore at the University of San Francisco studying Sociology and Theology with a minor in Philippine Studies. She participated in the Casa Bayanihan program in the Philippines during the spring of 2012 and hopes to work in international development after graduating.

Lucas Waldron is a politics major and film production minor at the University of San Francisco. He is Executive Producer at USF’s student-run television station USFtv and is co-captain of the university’s improv team. After he graduates in May, he hopes to pursue a career in documentary production.

Evan Vaughan is a senior International Peace & Conflict major and European Studies minor at the University of San Francisco from Bakersfield, CA. He is a member of the Ignatian student leadership team within his school’s University Ministry and is currently in the process of applying to the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.

Emily Czarnik-Neimeyer is a second-year Resident Minister through University Ministry at the University of San Francisco. As a Resident Minister, Emily works with weekly student support programming in her dorm of residence on campus, as well as with the University Ministry Social Justice Team and the St. Ignatius Institute living-learning community. Before working at the University of San Francisco, Emily graduated from St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin. She went on to work a year with AmeriCorps State in Appleton, Wisconsin, followed by a year of Lutheran Volunteer Corps in San Francisco, CA.

The “Love in Action” project team is working to ensure that the Sisters’ “voices are and continue to be included” in conversations about social justice for others and also for themselves as Sisters. These women have been agents for positive change for years and move forward while also being present for others. They do just this through not only a great deal of travel but also through commitment to their Motherhouses and by living right in the cities and buildings in which they are running their ministries.

The project team believes that the Sisters in the film and beyond have re-imagined how they live “love in action” in ways that uplift the marginalized in the community. Sisters have re-imagined such in the sense that they believe it to be the responsibility of the whole community to uplift others, but in a way that they are aware of the privilege in their own lives. In this way, they “move beyond” in responsible ways.

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