Bonding for the Sisters for the Church: The Unifiers
These “Unifiers” originated with the response of our foundress, Sr. Eileen Kelly, when asked how unity develops among Sisters who generally do not live in close proximity.
Using the unending and unifying circumference of circles to frame her reply, Sr. Eileen identified the values of the members, their shared commitment to the vowed life and the charism of the Society as the Primary Unifiers binding the members together regardless of place of residence. The Secondary Unifiers represent the essential shared behaviors of the Sisters, who nourished by Word and Sacrament, share a common desire to minister to the people of God in a vowed commitment. Although bound by evangelical vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience in ministry to the Church according to the Statutes and By-Laws of the Society, the Sisters maintain individual choice about such Negotiables as specific ministry, place of residence, dress, recreation and plan for retirement.
Not to be overlooked, however, are the dotted lines passing through the unifying elements. As they traverse the three circular figures they serve as very significant reminders that a Sister may not take upon herself anything that would be in conflict with the Primary and Secondary Unifiers. For Sr. Eileen these dotted lines represented a strong binding force, a force for unity and community among all the members whether living near or far apart.
Adapted from a taped Interview of Sister Eileen Kelly by Laura Winters, 1992