Sister Lisa Perkowski, IHMJuly 10, 2009
Randolph family celebrates daughter's first profession of religious vows in Scranton
by Cecile San Agustin, Reporter for the Beacon (reprinted with permission), July 30, 2009
RANDOLPH - With a talent for music, art and writing, Sister, Servant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Lisa Perkowski is now living out a dream - her vocation as a religious sister.
On July 10, the 27-year-old made her first profession of vows (three year vows) to consecrated life at Immaculate Heart of Mary Center Chapel in Scranton, Pa. She is the first religious sister vocation to come from Resurrection Parish here, where she attended Mass as a child. Her parents, Marianne and Stephen Perkowski, are parishioners there along with her two younger siblings, Peter and Michele.
Father John Andrew Connell, pastor of Resurrection Parish here, celebrated the Mass at the religious profession for Sister Perkowski, which brought together her immediate family, her uncles, aunts and cousins, friends and classmates, and many fellow Sister, Servants to celebrate this special occasion.
"With three years in formation and the ongoing discernment, I have come to the realization of how many gifts and graces I have been given to share with the world," she said. "Through my own prayer and insight I really feel called to give all I have and what I know about God."
Following her first profession of vows, her vocation will take her to Baltimore, where she will serve inner-city junior high students at Mother Seton School there. She will be making good use of her talents teaching music and art to the students.
She hopes through her classes that she will enable her students to search for beauty, goodness and truth in the world. "I'm excited about the work I will be doing. There are so many great kids that just have so much potential - not only in art and music but in so many areas. I hope to pass on the gifts that I have been given to me to these kids in an age often bombarded with the busyness of life and lack of clarity and place. I hope they get the chance to really develop themselves and all their gifts," Sister Perkowski said.
Her family couldn't be more proud of the person they simply know as Lisa. Her mother said, "I feel wonderful. Many of the sisters in Lisa's order came up to me, thanking me. I see how these sisters love her."
Her father said, "It's very biblical in a sense for me. I feel honored to give my first born to the Lord. I am very happy for her. It's her calling; she accepted and I'm proud of her."
According to Sister Perkowski, her parents were a great influence in her vocation. She said, "I certainly realize the great foundation I have been given especially because I was raised in a family that taught us to love and do good. I see how my parents and relatives stuck together through the good and bad times. That helped me understand my own commitment that I make to God and my community."
She also is grateful to Father Connell's guidance during her discernment process. "He certainly had an impact on my early foundation and my faith. Spiritually, I felt a connection about what he gives to his parish community and what our sisters do in their sharing of faith," she said.
Father Connell said, "It was a glorious day for our community at Resurrection Parish and for her community of sisters. We've been praying for her constantly at Resurrection."
He believes her choice of using the Gospel reading from Mark about "the greatest commandment" speaks volumes about her and the direction of her vocation. Father Connell said, "She's an extremely talented woman. She's a gifted writer, musician and artist."
Sister Perkowski previously used her talents in the arts serving in Pennsylvania, Maryland and in the Paterson Diocese at Paterson Catholic High School where she served as an art teacher in 2006.
"I'm grateful to all the people that have been part of my journey," she said. "It was a wonderful day to gather my family and friends and the sisters together. I am thankful to have celebrated this next step with all these different people that have been part of my life, part of my own discovery, here where I belong."