Taking a step for vocations in the religious life

Religious sisters and lay persons alike got out to enjoy the sunny weather during the Blisters for Sisters walkathon. (Megan Marley/Key photo)

Megan Marley

It’s not every day you see a bunch of religious sisters walking down the street in Kansas City.

But over 160 of them (plus several score of lay persons) laced up their walking shoes and hit the streets near St. Thomas More parish May 6 for the eleventh annual Blisters for Sisters walkathon, hosted by the Serra Clubs of both Missouri and Kansas sides of KC. The walk is held to raise funds for and say “thanks” to the religious sisters who served or are serving in the diocese and archdiocese.

The walk started at 10 a.m., and took one- and two-mile routes through nearby residential areas and Avila College. Afterwards there was Mass, followed by a luncheon and games.

“The whole concept is to say thanks to the women religious of the Catholic Church; thank them for everything they’ve done and everything they continue to do. That’s just the sum and substance of it,” said Tom Coppinger, Serran and a coordinator of the event.

“Each sister as she registers gets a brand-new $50 bill, and there’s a raffle during Blisters for Sisters where only sisters can win. It’s set up, that’s how it’s planned,” Coppinger continued. The prizes ranged from tickets to ballets and Royals games to car wash coupons, but Coppinger said almost every other sister receives a prize, thanks to donors’ generosity.

Giving back to the sisters fits with the mission of the Serra Club: to foster and promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life throughout religious formation, ministry, and into retirement.

“Once you get into it, you find out about what we do for the seminarians and religious in promoting, holding events, and fundraising, and meet a lot of really great people too,” said Mary O’Dower, who has volunteered at Blisters for Sisters for the past nine years and has known sisters throughout her life.

“I went to Visitation, St. Teresa of Avila, and I worked at St. Joseph Medical Center for 45 years, so I’ve been under their influence and guidance for a long time. I like the people and want to give back to them,” O’Dower said.


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November 25, 2020
The Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph