(00:02) Emily Mentock and Fr. Patrick Gonyeau welcomes you to this episode of Open Door Policy. Fr. Patrick shares his experience of seeing women religious in large groups, particularly in airports, and how he has been moved by the witness of their presence. Emily welcomes Sr. Mary Martha and Sr. Maria Veritas, who are members of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. Sr. Mary Martha is from Baton Rouge, Louisiana and entered the convent immediately after college. Sr. Maria Veritas is a tennis lover, and a lover of Truth.
(05:00) Sr. Maria Veritas shares about encountering the Sisters in her community 10 years before she eventually entered. After college, Sister went on a discernment retreat. She mentions that she was struck by the Sisters being “women of the Church, they had a strong sense of joy in their identity.”
(09:03) Sr. Mary Martha shares how the Lord drew her to enter consecrated life. Reading with Scripture drew Sister into a relationship with God. She felt drawn to encounter Jesus first, and her vocational discernment flowed from that. She had an experience of “home” when she visited her future community.
(12:40) Sharing a treasure: Fr. Patrick invites the Sisters to share a treasure from their encounters with Jesus. Sr. Maria Veritas points to the Eucharist as the central encounter with Jesus. “I know I couldn’t hold up very long without the Eucharist.” Sr. Mary Martha shares more about her religious name- and how during a time of grief, her religious name was confirmed as part of who she is.
(18:24) Both Sisters contribute to a bi-weekly column for Detroit Catholic. Sr. Mary Martha shares about writing for Detroit Catholic. She prays to the Holy Spirit, and is often inspired by her students in the classroom. Sr. Maria Veritas began writing 8 years ago. She saw her talents developed through religious life. “We rejoice in each other’s gifts.” She sees her writing for Detroit Catholic as passing on the fruit of her contemplation in her religious life.
(25:08) Ties to Southeast Michigan: Fr. Patrick asks the Sisters how their lives have been impacted by living in and near the Archdiocese of Detroit. The Sisters share how they have been fed through the Archdiocese of Detroit. The conversation moves into a reflection on the power of the Eucharist, and excitement over the Eucharistic Congress.
(30:18) What saint has your heart? Sr. Mary Martha shares that she loves the Ugandan martyrs. She admires their courage and their joy as they were martyred. She also notes how they encouraged each other as they were facing death. Sr. Maria Veritas is studying systematic theology, which is diving deeper into doctrine. She has been drawn to St. Thomas Aquinas recently because of his meekness, his joy, and his love for God.
(36:50) Looking to the future: Emily encourages the Sisters to share about what they are excited about right now. Sr. Maria Veritas shares that the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist celebrate 25 years since the founding of their community. Sr. Mary Martha shares that her heart is oriented toward heaven. Her vow of obedience allows her to surrender her future and accept what the Lord has for her.
(39:00) What is holiness? Sr. Maria Veritas shares that holiness is living in reality- in all of its fullness. Humility is an example of living in reality- knowing what your gifts are and what your weaknesses are- and living in that true knowledge of who we are. Sr. Mary Martha shares that “my holiness is His work, it is God’s work.” While her cooperation is necessary, Sr. Mary Martha is encouraged to know that her path of holiness is, “from the Lord and not something we can do on our own.” Fr. Patrick shares that holiness is a response to God’s love- and that Eucharist adoration is a beautiful expression of responding to God’s love.
(43:45) The episode is closed in prayer by Sr. Maria Veritas, Sr. Mary Martha, and Fr. Patrick. They ask the Lord to bless the listeners with assurance of His love and mercy. Fr. Patrick thanks the Lord for the Sisters and their vocations. The episode ends with gratitude to the Lord for his goodness. Thanks for listening to Open Door Policy!