by Kara Hansen
LEAWOOD — There are a number of parishioners in Johnson County — particularly the younger ones — who have never met or seen a nun.
Such is the unfortunate reality of vocations to religious life in our times. Lately, however, those rarely sighted individuals have been making regular appearances in Johnson County.
Each weekend, one member of the Sisters, Servants of Mary visits a parish to speak about the order’s mission and to help garner support for their upcoming, first-ever, fundraising gala night.
“In general, I think the speaking engagements are really profitable for the parishes and community because people get to learn about our mission of caring for the sick and how we can be of help to them,” said Sister Leticia Rodriguez, SM, who spoke recently at Sacred Heart Parish in Shawnee.
Event committee co-chair Mary Sullivan, a member of the Church of the Nativity in Leawood, hopes the upcoming gala will only be the first of many.
“It’s an opportunity for people to see what beautiful women the Sisters are, and to learn about their mission,” said Sullivan. “The plan is to have a gala event for the Sisters every year in the fall.”
The Sisters, Servants of Mary will be holding their gala fundraiser on Oct. 4 at Church of the Ascension in Overland Park. The event will be called “Serving From the Heart.”
The theme, said Sullivan, really says it all.
“Serving from the heart really encompasses what the Sisters do each day for each other and the community,” she said.
The evening will begin at 6:30 p.m. with cocktails and a silent auction. A five-course dinner will be served at 7:15 p.m., provided by PB&J Restaurants, and a live auction will follow at 8.
Tickets are $125 a person or $1,000 for a table of eight. An open bar is included in the price. John Holt of WDAFTV 4 News will be the emcee for the evening and the Nigro Brothers will serve as auctioneers. All decorations will be provided by Nell Hill’s home store.
“We’re planning for about 600 people and have already sold 20 tables before invitations have gone out,” said Sullivan.
Attendees will have the opportunity to meet the Sisters at the event, as at least one will be seated at each table throughout the evening to provide opportunities for interaction.
“It’s a unique way to expose people to their ministry, love and care for people,” said Sullivan.