Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletNovember 24, 2017

Sisters' Stories

Sister Danielle Bonetti, CSJ


You Belong Where You are Needed.

That was the title of a book on the shelf of my high school guidance counselor. I never actually read the book, but the title has never left my consciousness. As a seventeen-year-old trying to decide what direction my life would take, I knew the title had a role in my decision.

I remember looking at the world around me, the everyday world of my family and friends and thinking, “Somehow, I want God’s love and the Gospel to touch every aspect of people’s every day life.” Although I did not have any theology background or vocabulary, I still felt strongly that the teachings of Jesus were meant to be lived not just “in church” but in the world of total reality.
 
As I struggled with this desire, I decided that if I entered religious life, I wanted to work with and walk with people in their homes, in their work place. At the same time, the life of community, sharing prayer and values and lifelong dedication attracted me and seemed to be an essential part of my dream.
 
This dream, this vision, the call which I experienced over thirty years ago has been a continuing journey of faith. Through it God led me to a congregation of sisters who formed me with a missionary’s heart. Their charism for reaching out to people in their homes and having a special care for the faith formation of public-school children and adults as well as their emphasis on the need to root all mission and ministry in a life of contemplation has permanently influenced my living of religious life.
 
When the renewal of religious life called us to reshape the living out of our charism, I found that God continued to call me to refine my understanding of my vocation. I knew that I was being called to move out of my original community, which retained a more monastic adaptation of religious life. After much prayer and discernment, I realized that the desires of my heart had found a home in the charism and lived reality of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. Even though this move was done with prayer and deep desire for faithfulness to God’s call, it was still very painful.
 
Now, seventeen years later, I realize that God’s faithful love continues to guide me and call me to a never-ending development of my personal vocation to mission. I am energized by this dynamic presence of God’s call to growth that I heard in myself and that we continually discern as a community. It is here that I find both the nurture and the challenge to become more and more the disciple of Christ that God calls me to be. For me the call to discipleship will always include the desire to “be where I am needed.”