Continuing to Serve – S. Katrinka Gunn
By AJ Keith, Communications intern
The ministries of S. Katrinka Gunn have been wide in scope and large in number, but her success in these ministries comes from a steady foundation of empathy and relationship-building. Since her retirement from a diverse and colorful active ministry, Sister has only felt a stronger desire to reach out and touch people’s lives the way that God has touched hers.
S. Katrinka has been exposed to the love of God in a variety of ways throughout her active ministry years, all of which were as beautiful as the last. After bearing witness to this love for many years as a teacher, nurse, spiritual director and an assistant coordinator of residents at Mother Margaret Hall, S. Katrinka decided to retire from active ministry in 2002. With her newfound time, Sister decided to build an even stronger relationship with God in order to find out who she was and where she belonged in her service to others. After deep reflection and communication with God, S. Katrinka felt a desire to be a welcoming presence for others in the Community. Because of this, Sister has engaged her Community by serving at the Front Desk of the Motherhouse with a joyful temperament. “It’s rewarding to me to represent the Community at the Front Desk,” Sister says, “I enjoy greeting people and being that welcoming presence for them.” Because of this opportunity to serve, Sister will regularly pick up shifts when others are absent.
When she isn’t volunteering at the Front Desk, Sister takes part in vigil ministry for the Community. Because of the sheer power of these fragile and final moments of life, Sister has been receptive to how the ministry has broadened her faith life. In what she refers to as an awe-inspiring and sacred time, S. Katrinka thinks of the ministry as a blessing. She says, “It provides a sobering experience for me and allows me to be a prayerful presence for each of the dying Sisters.” This personal connection to the Sisters makes her aware of God’s presence in each person as well as herself.As a soothing presence to other members of the Congregation in her vigil ministry and to visitors when she’s at the Front Desk, Sister recognizes how her service guides her and others towards the loving embrace of God. “All of my ministries have deepened my relationship with God,” Sister says, “That’s God being present in me. God enabled all of that.” Her experiences in her active ministries have equipped her with a powerful faith to explore her relationship with God and Sister plans to continue her services to honor the mission statement of the Sisters of Charity in the coming years. In the ever-evolving dialogue with God, her service to others has made her a faith-filled and contemplative person that understands that speaking to God means serving one another.