Sister presents New Missionary Vision

By Trevor Wallace
October 12, 2010

Reminding us all of the love and generosity we must give forth as members of Cabrini College, Sister Patricia Spillane, the superior general of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, presented to this idea to Cabrini College’s faculty and staff with the sisters’ New Missionary Vision.

The New Missionary Vision includes new and creative forms of charity and love, new spaces of missionary activity and strategic planning and constant discernment.

Sister Patricia Spillane spoke of spreading love, kindness, courage and wisdom as part of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus’ new vision. -- Lauren Sliva / Online Media Editor

The sisters “go where life is most threatened.  Dealing with the resources we have, we use them to the maximum where it is most needed,” Spillane said.

Joan Neal, vice president of institutional effectiveness, introduced Spillane with the importance of educating the heart and how it fits into the New Missionary Vision.

“The heart is the place where the currents of what we are and what we are not yet cross.  It is the locus of personal authenticity, the holistic force that shapes what we really are.  It is at the core of community, mutuality and solidarity,” Neal said.

According to Spillane, education of the heart is a large part of the new vision.  Along with this education comes the will do to good.

Quoting Paul from 1 Corinthians, Spillane explained that Paul’s words are the “do’s and don’ts of education of the heart.”

“Love is always patient and kind, never jealous or boastful or conceited, never rude or selfish.  It does not easily get offended or resentful,” Spillane said, quoting 1 Corinthians.

The love that Spillane spoke of is a love for others that not only exists in words but also in action and in deeds.

“All of us sisters and laity are called to a genuine relationship with all types of people that is respectful, inclusive and mutually enriching,” Spillane said.

“How are we going to mentor young people…if we don’t know what makes us tick, what makes us hate, love or paranoid?  We need insight into ourselves.  How can you help people to grow unless you already understand your own growth?

We owe it to ourselves to become intrepid missionaries…so that we can become the best selves that we can be,” Spillane said.

Education of the heart allows for aspects of the New Missionary Vision to take place. The new vision also calls for more missionary activity, which has already begun to take shape in Swaziland with Cabrini College’s assistance in the  sisters’ work treating AIDS and HIV.

“Our New Missionary Vision, which is organic, is based upon the fact that we try it, we get experience, we evaluate it, we see if it works.  If it doesn’t work we tweak it and change it.  It’s something alive and dynamic that changes through the years,” Spillane said.

Strategic planning and constant discernment are another focus of the New Missionary Vision.

“Prophetic planning will help us create a path to the future that can be focused, doable and sustainable.  It holds us accountable to carry out in actuality what we have promised each other to do,” Spillane said.

Dr. Marie Angelella George referred to Cabrini’s own mission statement and the sisters’ new statement can come together.

“It’s okay if we have different faiths, or maybe no faith.  We are here to contribute in our unique and collective ways to this wonderful mission and education of the heart,” George said.

“Cabrini College has great potential to be an agent of transformation.  Being a part of Cabrini is more than a job,” Spillane said.  “It is also an invitation to the transformation of life.  I am sure it is your (faculty and staff) hope that every student that comes to Cabrini College emerges transformed in some way.  The transformation is both internal and external.  Both a lasting and a contagious transformation.”

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Trevor Wallace

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