Several RSC’s attended the 10th Annual Mary Award Brunch on Sunday, 17th April, 2016, where Sister Kathleen Bryant was one of four recipients of “The Immaculate Heart of Mary Award.” This award is presented to people who exemplify the IHM Mission Statement “To build relations in society which foster access of all persons to truth, dignity, and full human development”
Kathleen was introduced by Sister Rosalinda Baldonaldo, IHM President, who encouraged all to look at Kathleen’s Facebook page which demonstrates much of how Kathleen works with people.
She spoke of Kathleen as being a woman of great faith and quoted from an interview Kathleen had for a Podcast: Living Faith in Everyday Life, where Kathleen says she sees “Religious Life as an a extension of her calling to be and do what God has called her to, to live in the present moment and through discernment has recognized that God is always close to all of us. Religious Life is an adventure, a way to see God in everything.”
Sr. Rosalinda went on to say, “When you are around Kathleen, you sense this spirit in her-there is joy and a great determination to bring her conviction of God’s Presence to all. Among her passions is being contemplative in a digital world and working for the abolition of human trafficking and slavery. This you do very well, Kathleen.”
In her response to receiving the Award, Kathleen thanked the IHM Sisters for mentoring so many Sisters of Charity back in 1953. They welcomed the RSC’s at Los Angeles Airport. Kathleen noted that Sr. Kathleen Newell was among them then and was present for the award ceremony. The IHM’s offered hospitality, mentored us and introduced us to a different educational system. To this day we continue to share a kinship in the fight for justice and she said she continues to learn from the IHM community what it truly means to take a prophetic stance and do justice.
Speaking directly to the IHM sisters Kathleen said, “You have empowered survivors of human trafficking, giving them homes and jobs before many of us were conscious of the issue. I accept on behalf of all those abolitionists at work globally. Personally I feel transformed by those survivors who teach us what true resilience is. When we were naïve, we took the schools vacated when the IHM community was dismissed-we were not awake then as women religious! Yet you were the ones who paved the way forward with a fresh vision.”
She closed by thanking them for the award and for their community commitment to justice.