Three women with ties to the Diocese of Wilmington took new steps in their journey with the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia over the weekend of Aug. 10-11. The two professing first vows were the first new members to join the congregation in a number of years.
Sister Kathleen Mary Flood professed her final vows on Aug. 11 at Our Lady of Angels Convent in Aston. A native of Queens, N.Y., she entered the novitiate in 2012. She holds a master’s degree in pastoral, clinical and mental health counseling from Neumann University, and she performed her counseling internship with the Ministry of Caring in Wilmington. She also was a member of Good Shepherd Parish in Perryville, Md., before entering the Franciscans. It was there that she felt the call of religious life.
“In serving the people of western Cecil County, I felt that I was being called to serve to a greater depth and breadth. What I wanted was to be open to where the Holy Spirit was guiding me and here I am,” Sister Kathleen said.
Since entering the novitiate, she had been a pastoral assistant at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Branch Beach, N.J. She will become the director of student services and spiritual formation at the Franciscan School of Theology on the campus of the University of San Diego in California.
Sister Maria Anna Dela Paz and Sister Kathryn Ann Dutrow both professed first vows on Aug. 10. Sister Maria was born in the Philippines and grew up in New Jersey. She entered the Franciscans’ candidacy program in 2016 and the novitiate a year later. She credits her time with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps for sparking her interest in religious life.
“It opened my eyes to living in an intentional community, living simply, and working towards social justice,” she said. “This passion to work towards social justice, combined with my desire to live in an intentional, faith community brought me to discern religious life.”
After entering the congregation, she ministered at Bayard House in Wilmington. She is also headed to the University of San Diego, where she will work as the program coordinator for the Center of Student Success.
Sister Kathryn, a native of Baltimore, entered the candidacy program and the novitiate in 2017.
“I was drawn to a life of commitment to serving others in both ministry and in sharing the same journey we all take in getting to know ourselves and our God personally and in living for and with one another. Religious life offers the opportunity to do this in community and relationship with others who share that same desire,” she said.
After joining the Franciscans, Sister Kathryn lived in Elsmere and was a substitute teacher at All Saints Catholic School and worked in parish ministry at Corpus Christi Church. She will be the mission coordinator at the Catholic High School of Baltimore.