Victory Noll Sisters want to give others a look into their lifestyle

Sister Rose Ann Kaiser of Victory Noll (right) speaks with an associate, Mary Alice Kelly, earlier this year at a meeting in Colorado.
Sister Rose Ann Kaiser of Victory Noll (right) speaks with an associate, Mary Alice Kelly, earlier this year at a meeting in Colorado. Photo provided.

Originally published Jan. 7, 2010.

A new opportunity recently introduced by the Victory Noll Sisters gives interested people the chance to make a temporary commitment as a missioner.

Sister Rose Ann Kaiser, the program's representative, says there is more to the project than meets the eye.

"We are seeking to engage the culture of our time, which seems to find long-term commitment difficult," Kaiser explains. "The Missioner Project is not just a volunteer program. By spending time with us on a temporary basis - one to three years - and getting a taste of what religious life is like, we hope that this experience will lead to the possibility of a long-term commitment as a perpetually vowed member of the congregation"

She adds that another type of membership is found as an associate, who are men and women who share the mission of the Victory Noll Missionary Sisters in their own way.

"They help to address the needs of the poor and oppressed, work for peace and social justice, and reach out with their skills, service and prayer to bring healing and reconciliation," Kaiser says.

These people who vow their membership, she explains, are committed to the continuation of the missionary mission "by responding to critical, unmet needs in today's world."

Many missionary sisters make a lifetime commitment, but some are just unable to do so.

"Due to circumstances in their lives, many women cannot make a permanent commitment as a vowed member of a religious congregation, but many have a desire to be involved in a short-term, supportive network of ministry while deepening their own spiritual growth and relationship with God through more opportunities for prayer and reflection, action and contemplation," Kaiser says.

She continues that the participant "would live the same celibate lifestyle as the sisters" and would either live with them or near them. They would also get the chance in partaking in a variety of activities that fit the skills of the individual.

Some examples Kaiser cites include teaching in the community, such as English as a second language, GED classes, and leadership training; religious activities, such as parish work and organizing religious education classes; and community work with citizens, such as working with the homeless or elderly, advocating for social justice and visiting nursing homes or prisons.

Kaiser says that the sisters have used several outlets to spread the word of the new project. They have advertised in several newspapers and magazines, have taken advantage of the Internet, handed out information and have extended personal invitations.

After her many years of being involved in Victory Noll, Kaiser says her life has been better than imagined.

"As a Victory Noll sister of 50 years, I can say that my life has certainly been an exciting, joyous and freeing adventure, way beyond my expectations, my hopes and dreams," she says. "I am grateful to be part of this community of faith working together to make a difference - working together to bring about a more just and peaceful world through ministries and prayer.

"My own experience as a sister is one I would like to share with other women who are searching for a meaningful, fulfilling life."

Visit www.olvm.org/vn missioner.html for more information on the project, or visit the Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters website at www.olvm.org for more information on the Victory Noll Center.