In June 2009 I set up the non profit as The Family of the Good Shepherd, this would be the ministry for the children. On July 16 2009 (the day I would renew my vows) I was released from SOLT.
The Holy Spirit guided me to the Grand Island diocese in central NE. Bishop Dendinger gave permission to begin the ministry in that diocese. Bishop Hanifeidt has given permission to continue the ministry. Bishop Hanifeidt also said I could mention that I felt called to start a new community as well as be open to possible vocations to this community that I believe Our Lord and Our Lady are calling and guiding me to begin.
I have kept myself in private vows according to Canon Law. Through prayer over time, I was lead to wear a grey skirt and pink blouse. The grey is for Our Lady and the pink for Rejoicing. Many of those I serve do not have or know the gift of rejoicing (Joy) Rejoicing (Joy) is a gift of The Lord. The grey and pink remind me that with the help of Our Lady I am to bring the gift of the Joy of the Lord to those I serve. One day in the future a veil will be added and the outfit will become a habit.
The Lord did not give me the name for the new community of women in Consecrated Life until a couple of years ago. I was given The Daughters of Mary, Mother of Jesus, the Good Shepherd! The picture of the statue I have of Mary holding a lamb and baby Jesus, sums it up!
I say “Women in Consecrated Life” as the Holy Trinity along with Mary, Our Mother, will guide us in what form of Consecrated Life. There are several forms of Consecrated Life set out in Canon Law. Society of Apostolic Life, seems possible, since us Women in Consecrated Life will be living with the children we serve. We will of course have a house of prayer and formation one day, Lord willing, for us in Consecrated Life to continue serving those children in need well. Sometimes, just as Jesus went off to pray by Himself, we too will need that time with The Lord. Prayer is the backbone of this ministry to children in need. It provides me with what I need to serve them and it opens the door for them to build a relationship with The Most Holy Trinity!
At this time my mother servers with me as a Consecrated Widow. The Consecrated Widow is from the early days for the church. For a time it seemed to not be there, but has again returned. There are several groups of Consecrated Widow’s in the US and around the world! A Consecrated Widow is one who was married and her husband has gone to join the Lord. In prayer she is called not to remarry, to live her life as a Widow for the Lord! My mom lives with me and assists me with the children as she is able. These days she assists more with her prayer then physical help! The prayer is more important! Not all Consecrated Widows live on site of the community they are part of. I have not researched this, but I am guessing many Consecrated Widows continue to live in her own home, just as some are called to live closer to the community they are a part of.