Charism — A Gift to be Shared

In Their Own Words: Charism, a Gift to be Shared

Charism is a gift that flows from God’s love, and it’s meant to be shared. But what does that mean in real life? Three Sisters of the Holy Names talk about the SNJM charism — including Sister Sharon Collver, above, who describes how we can identify our own gifts. You are invited to pray the prayer below before watching the video. Reflection questions follow. Download a PDF of the prayer and questions.


1 Corinthians 12: 4-7

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestations of the Spirit for the common good.

The charism of a religious order is defined as a gift from God, given for the good of the church so that God’s mission is shared. Similarly to a religious order, we as lay people have also been given gifts that we in turn can share with others for the glory of God.

Right side: Gracious God, you have given me your undying love, making me whole.

Left side: Let me honor the dignity of each individual and recognize your goodness in them.

Right side: From you, great God, I have received mercy, compassion and tenderness.

Left side: May I practice empathy and forgiveness toward everyone I meet.

Right side: You have developed in me strong principles and a sense of integrity.

Left side: Help me draw out of others their natural goodness and value.

Right side: Thank you for my strength, confidence and sense of conviction.

Left side: Help me find humility to empower the voice of others.

Right side: By the grace of God I have opportunity and enjoy abundance in my life.

Left side: I will serve the poor and marginalized, as they struggle for life’s basic needs.

Right side: I am graced with a beautiful and full planet earth.

Left side: Let me never forget, it is my obligation to insure its health and wellbeing.

Creator God, Inspire me to give the gifts that you have graciously bestowed on me so that others may have them abundantly. We pray in thanksgiving, Amen


For reflection:

1. Charism is a gift given by God which is meant to be shared with others. Sister Janina tells us we can actualize these gifts in many different contexts: caring for the earth, for those abandoned by society, for immigrants and refugees. In what ways do you use your gifts for the benefit of others and our world?

2. Who in your life recognized and drew out of you a special gift you possess?

3. Sister Sharon was given a special assignment to list her gifts. In silence, create a list of your own gifts and qualities that you have within you.