Sisters looking for a few good women

by Jessica Langdon
jessica@theleaven.org

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth are hoping to find a few good women — and they don’t even need to be considering a religious vocation.

Of course, they can be discerning the religious life, but they don’t have to be to take part in a unique living situation.

Since 1999, 26 women have joined several SCLs in “simple community living” in the Xavier Community near the Cathedral of St. Peter in Kansas City, Kan.

The house has room for four Sisters and four laywomen, ideally between the ages of 20 and 40.

One of the young women who lived there recently graduated from college and moved away, and another will enter formation in January with the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, so the community has room for two women.

The community is named for SCL founder Mother Xavier Ross, and its participants refer to it as an “intentional community,” meaning it is more than simply an alternative to apartment living.

“It’s a commitment to share,” said Sister Mary Rachel Flynn, SCL, who lives in the Xavier Community. “We share cooking. We share responsibilities in the house.”

The women also bring to the table their experiences and interests from outside the house.

Kate Becker, who works at an environmental nonprofit organization in Kansas City, Mo., called Bridging the Gap, has enjoyed living in this community where the women share their ministries, activities and many varied interests.

“I just feel like my perspective of God has gotten bigger since I’ve been here,” said the 32-year-old Becker.

The current age range in the house spans from early 30s to early 80s, and Sister Vicki Lichtenauer, SCL, believes that range adds a lot of depth to this experience.

Through the Xavier Community, Sister Mary Rachel has come to realize deeper sharing through the many group prayers and conversations.

“We get a sense of who God is among us as a group and as individuals,” she said.

Women seeking to join this community will go through an interview. They must have health insurance and be able to contribute to the household responsibilities and living expenses.

For more information about the Xavier Community or to determine whether this might be the right fit, call (913) 342-4682, or send an email to Sister Vicki at: vickil@scls.org.

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