Meet Our New Associates: Lisa McDowell
By AJ Keith, Communications intern
Building loving relationships has been a synonymous sentiment associated with the Sisters of Charity, regardless of distance. In Juneau, Alaska, more than 3,300 miles from the Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse, Lisa McDowell made her commitment as an Associate to the Sisters of Charity this past summer. Eager to live out the vision statement of the Congregation, Lisa is happy to share her talents in her hometown and encourage others to live a life serving others.
Lisa was traveling to Cincinnati, Ohio, for her daughter’s ballet audition when she met S. Delia Sizler for the first time. Moved by her encounter and the mission of the Sisters of Charity, Lisa was inspired to look further into the Congregation’s history. When she discovered that her values were closely aligned with theirs, she began to ask people around Juneau about the Associates program and realized that many of her friends were already Associates. Between the many women of faith and the rich history of the Sisters, Lisa knew that this was a Community to which she wanted to belong. “I looked at all of these women of faith and I asked myself, ‘Why am I not a part of this?’” Lisa says.
After spending 16 years as a stay-at-home mom, Lisa found that she has a particular talent in the field of special education when she volunteered at several schools where her five daughters attended. This volunteer work taught her the value of building connections with others and how it can better influence the dynamic of people in need with the people who are serving. Her parish service is also an important part of her volunteer work, as she engages the youth of her community in their branch of Edge, a national youth ministry. She also lends a helping hand to various soup kitchens and homeless shelters in her community. “Because I’m involved with Edge and my daughters’ Girl Scouts troops, I think that my kids brought me down these different avenues of service,” Lisa says.
Though a life dedicated to service can sometimes be challenging, Lisa has found that the vision statement of the Sisters of Charity has provided a sound guide to how she should live. More importantly, Lisa says that it is a humbling experience to be part of something bigger than herself and exhibits the virtues that she holds dear. With the vision statement in mind, Lisa found the correct words to live as a faith-filled woman. “I actually came to Alaska as a Jesuit Volunteer and they have four virtues: community, spirituality, simple lifestyle and social justice,” Lisa says. “Those values are what inspired me to be a part of the Sisters of Charity because it put into action those virtues.”
The Associates of the Sisters of Charity are great in number and in service and Lisa is a welcome addition to the list of individuals who demonstrate the importance of charity. As an Associate, Lisa hopes to live out the virtues of the Sisters of Charity and to apply them to her daily life and the service that she is involved in.