Servant Seekers Associate Group
There is a Sanskrit word, Namaste, that roughly translates to "I honor the place in you where we are all one." Too often I find this difficult to live but Nano Nagle, her conversion, her work, her spirit, and the associate/sister group that I share and serve with have helped and guided me to honor the divine in all people. Char McCoy
As an associate group, the Servant Seekers reach out and serve people who have physical, economic, educational and spiritual needs. Their members have a mission to bring a glimpse of God's love to individuals and groups that need both short-term and long-term hel
One example of this is a mother of three children caught between the cracks of many "official" organizations who reached out for help. Her wants and needs were simple compared to what most have and want. The children needed some basic clothing while the entire family needed food, fuel and school money. How could this associate group not respond? How could they not go "one step beyond" their own comforts and respond to these simple requests? Only one of the Servant Seekers knew this lady so while the others did not "honor the place where we are one," face to face, they did honor her spirit to spirit. The experience left the group wondering whose needs were really met: hers or theirs.
American culture has a tendency to isolate people, especially those who appear different, who are unemployed, who do not speak English or whose skin is not white. Isolation brings loneliness and fear. Servant Seekers are called by Nano and God to bring people out of isolation and to honor the place "where we are all one."
Hope House in Dubuque is a place where people come when they feel isolated because of their economic circumstances. However, the spirit of the house lets people know they are welcomed and that poor circumstances do not necessarily mean poor in spirit or isolation. While the house itself is humble in appearance and by most standards poor in structure, it is a place of love and hope. Again, how could this associate group rest in what they have and not share? The group responded by being a delivery service for a few meals and preparing and serving other meals. These activities brought each of them hope, another Namaste experience.
Women and children were a priority of Nano Nagle when she traveled the byways of her home town, helping them learn and bringing them basic goods for survival. The sisters have also set the rights and needs of women and children as part of their mission. The associates work with the sisters to achieve that goal.
Food is not always the greatest need. Sometimes it is difficult to trust those who just need money, thinking the person may not use the cash as intended. Setting aside the barriers of the heart, the group gives cash and non-perishable items to women who have shared the need for such care. The group's understanding has always been: "once it is given it is no longer theirs, meeting in faith the place in these women 'where we are all one.'"
Called by both Jesus and the Presentation community, Servant Seekers come together every other month to share, to pray, to learn and to serve others. It is in community they are challenged to hear the needs of others and to respond to those needs. Between meetings, each member finds other ways to "go one step beyond."
The needs are endless in the community. The ways to meet the other are all around. Some visit the local mission and bring food and conversation to those on the fringe. Some help at the local food pantry collecting food and filling baskets. Others are Confirmation sponsors and still another is a tutor at the Presentation Lantern Center. These are just a few of the ways the Servant Seekers go forth from community to meet that which makes them all one.
While all that they do as Presentation sisters and associates is simple and small, it is an effort to bring the "Good News" to others and in turn give them a light to shine with endless opportunities to "honor the place in you where we are all one."
Left to right: Marlene Hagemann, Marilynn Jacobs, Deb Jasper, Sister René Laubenthal, Charlotte McCoy, Sister Francesca Presseller, Sister Annette Skyles and Sister Lynn Wagner.