A Day in the Life – S. Tracy Kemme
By Megan Simmermeyer, Communications co-op
S. Tracy Kemme (second from right) ministers part-time at Holy Family Parish in Price Hill (Cincinnati).
National Vocation Awareness Week (Nov. 5-11, 2017) celebrates religious vocations across the country, and encourages everyone to reflect on the vocation they are called to pursue. The “Day in the Life” series explores the varied ministries of five Sisters in Formation and offers detailed accounts of what these Sisters do on a daily basis. Each woman featured in the series has answered the call to be a Sister of Charity, and each has a story to share.
In 2015, S. Tracy Kemme made her First Vows as a Sister of Charity, and since then, her time with the Community has been full of activity. Much like her fellow Sisters in Formation, S. Tracy’s day is spent in ministry and prayer. Each morning, she wakes up and rotates with her housemates in leading prayers. After, the Sisters split into their separate ministries, which for S. Tracy is either going to her part-time position with Holy Family Parish in Price Hill (Cincinnati) or studying for her graduate school courses with Xavier University.
At Holy Family, S. Tracy works as a Bilingual Pastor three days a week—Monday, Wednesday, and Friday—and she furthers her ministry through weekend activities within the parish. Her role involves bringing awareness to the parishioners through social activism or formation opportunities. In addition, she teaches classes for adults within the community. With 50 percent of the Holy Family parishioners being Spanish speakers, her knowledge of the language is crucial to her role and allows for a more open, inclusive parish community.
In addition to her work with Holy Family, S. Tracy is pursuing her graduate degree in Theology. Currently, she is taking night classes twice a week, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays, between her ministry days at Holy Family, much of her time is dedicated to studying for her degree.
Many nights, when she’s not in classes, S. Tracy attends meetings pertinent to her ministry or gives immigration presentations, a topic dear to her as she encounters many immigrants within Holy Family. When she does have free time, however, S. Tracy enjoys running and having dinner with her three housemates.
Despite a busy schedule, S. Tracy finds that her ministry, even when she completes menial office work at Holy Family, is full of a deep sense of meaning and contributes to a bigger picture. She believes that everyone and everything is a reflection of God in some way, and what she enjoys most about her work is the ability to connect with people, whether they are her housemates or the parishioners of Holy Family. Her ministry has brought her in contact with some of the most repressed of society, and she is moved by the courage of these people, some being the members of her Holy Family Church. “They embody such resilience and deep faith,” she says. “It is a pleasure to connect with them.”
When she first began to hear God’s call, S. Tracy was volunteering in Ecuador, where she had been for two years. “The experience of encountering Christ through the repressed of the world was a conversion,” she says. During that time, she was seriously dating someone, and she says she could picture their future together. But she felt another call, too—to become a woman religious. While she could picture both lives—one of marriage and one of Sisterhood—she spent time reflecting, praying, and speaking with her mentors. Despite the difficult decision, S. Tracy ultimately felt her vocation was to join the Sisters of Charity Community and live as a woman religious.
While she has realized her call to become a Sister, S. Tracy says she is still striving for the future God has planned for her. “I think all of our faith journeys are a mystery, and we can only guess [where God will lead us],” she says. But she feels that God has called her to become an inviter, someone to encourage young women to pray and reflect on where God might be leading them. She takes pride in being part of this new generation of Sisters, acting as a voice of renewal for the Community.