Sister and Foundress Annamarie Cook, S.L.W.
The Sisters of the Living Word, founded in 1975, minister in 12 dioceses across the United States. Their mission is to reflect and affirm the Word, Jesus, who frees the oppressed and gives new life. “As Jesus was sent by the Father in the Power of the Spirit, so are we sent as Sisters of the Living Word. We reflect and affirm the Word in the Word, the Word who continually frees the oppressed and gives new life.”
In keeping this mission alive, the sisters celebrate the memory of foundress Annamarie Cook. Her unbounded courage—based on total, loving openness to God’s call—is a poignant model for the Sisters. Cook passed away October 20, 2005. In her own words: “As I look back to 1975 I am grateful to God for forming us as a new community. I look forward to whatever time I have left in this world to continue to bring Christ to others wherever and whenever I can. Meantime, I live from day to day knowing that all I want to do is His will in whatever way it is shown to me. When He calls me at the end of my journey, I will say a happy ‘Yes.’ ”
Their works include youth and adult education, parish, campus and diocesan ministry, health care, retreat and spiritual direction, counseling, healing ministries, environmental advocacy, and outreach to new immigrants as well as to victims of violence, hunger, unemployment, and homelessness.
“Living among this Lakota tribe has helped me to see the beauty of a people that has survived in small numbers against great adversities.” —Elaine Tworek, S.L.W. is ministering to the young, the elders, the sick, and those in search of deep faith in Lower Brule, South Dakota. Her deepest desire is to help empower and invite each individual to claim and share their personal richness and goodness so the entire community can grow stronger in faith and love.
“I feel blessed to be here. Our parishioners are from all over the city, and a number of our parishioners are homeless. I feel privileged to be with them for breakfast and lunch listening and sharing with them. This also affords me the opportunity to give them resources that might benefit them. In addition to this, I am a director for religious education for our small religious education program. Our teachers and children are an inspiration to me. I am truly grateful to God for leading me to this parish.” —Vianney Moore, S.L.W. is ministering at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church and its center, St. Jude, which is located at the edge of the French Quarter in New Orleans.
“Collaborating with our sacramental minister and my brothers and sisters in this faith community, we have been able to fulfill—a long-desired dream—that of building a new church and hall. This dream became a reality in 2002 with the dedication of this new building—indeed a day of celebration and thankfulness to our God for the support given by our bishop, benefactors, and parishioners.” —Joanne Fedewa, S.L.W. is Pastoral Coordinator of Christ the King Parish in Flint, Michigan.
“I believe so much in the body-mind-spirit connection that I explored massage therapy as a ministry. This is what my ministry is to this day.” —Jeannine Randolph, S.L.W. offers massage therapy at the House of the Good Shepherd whose residents are abused women. She also offers massage therapy to the frail elderly at various nursing homes, including Lutheran Home, Resurrection Life Center, and Addolorata Villa, all in Illinois.
Most people think religious orders were founded centuries ago, but many were established in the last few decades. Does that fact change how you think about religious orders?