Catholic Free Press

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  • May
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Secretaries hear words of inspiration

Posted By May 10, 2012 | 1:23 pm | Lead Story #3

By Tanya Connor

Juan had lost his hands and feet, but he would clap his stumps when the religious sisters came.
Marcy Wilson told this story of a man she met at a lepresarium when she was a Sister of Mercy in Panama.
“He was the happiest person,” said Ms. Wilson, who is now pastoral associate at St. Mary of the Hills Parish in Boylston.
She was urging listeners to enjoy life and share their joy, in her talk at the 15th Annual Professional Secretaries Day April 26 at St. Anne Parish in Shrewsbury.
Ann Wagstaff, vice-chairwoman of the diocesan Commission for Women, said 67 parish and chancery secretaries attended the event, which the commission sponsors.
At Mass Bishop McManus said it is a wonderful tradition for secretaries to come away for a time of reflection.
“It’s also a good thing for your pastors to learn how important you are,” he told the secretaries, referring to the statement “absence makes the heart grow fonder.”
The bishop told listeners “our mission, as members of the Church,” is to help others know, love and serve Jesus. They can’t do that without knowing Jesus, he said. But in receiving him in the Eucharist they receive power to pass him on to others, and that is done person to person.
Ms. Wilson too encouraged secretaries to reach out to others.
“You are the first voice that many people hear on the telephone,” she said. “It’s your generosity, it’s your gift of joy, that reaches out and makes them feel welcome. … Do you drop everything and open the door and say, ‘Good morning, Lord?’” She was asking if they respond to the person at the door as they would to Jesus.
Such making “our lives an act of love” was one of 10 points Ms. Wilson made. Others included accepting oneself, accepting responsibility for one’s life, and trying to fulfill one’s needs for relaxation, exercise and nourishment.
Ms. Wilson also urged the secretaries to move out of their comfort zone, doing things they’ve never done; find the good; seek growth, not perfection; learn to communicate effectively; enjoy the good things of life, and make prayer part of their daily lives.
She told of moving into smaller living quarters and realizing, “You have to find the good that is here … and find peace … comfort and God.” Many who live in her building have limited physical abilities or the beginnings of dementia, she said. She said she makes them smile, telling jokes and singing to them.
“My state of happiness is not just here for me,” she said. “It’s here to share.”
Speaking of seeking growth, she told of examining her conscience.
“Is there one thing I did good today?” she asks. “Is there one thing I did today that I wish I could erase? God, help me do a better job tomorrow.”
She urged listeners not to use “silent treatment” to communicate, because the other person might not understand.
As for enjoying life, she said the Talmud says, “Everyone will be called to account for all the legitimate pleasures which he or she has failed to enjoy.” She said it would have been sad if pilgrims moving West from the Eastern United States never picked up their eyes to see the lakes, mountains, etc.
She said in Kenya some of the poorest people she met were the happiest, walking miles to church, in constant praise.
Speaking of prayer, she called for lifting one’s mind and heart to God, not necessarily just “saying prayers.”