Cecilia A. Ranger is a Sister of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. With a lifelong commitment to education, philosophy, theology and spiritual direction, she taught and did spiritual direction at several colleges, universities and seminaries, and served in university administration and on boards. Other ministries included pastoral ministry, facilitation, and consultancies for leadership groups; she also served as president of the Oregon Sisters of the Holy Names. One of her primary interests was dialogue among religious traditions; she was spiritual and retreat director for persons of many faith traditions. She is now retired at Mary's Woods in Lake Oswego, Oregon, where she does some teaching, parish or personal retreats, and writing.
There are numerous instances in the Christian Bible of Jesus engaged in sharing food with friends, apostles, disciples and followers. And each of Jesus' food experiences had to do with people and with service.
Religious life, living in community, can provide a model for how all of us can strive to look outside of ourselves, stop being individualistic, either-or people and reconnect with others. It takes true listening.
In the U.S., the extroverts get the attention, but perhaps there are bigger issues underlying the question of unheard voices in church and workplace and culture.
I have heard remarks about sisters' "easy" lives: job and retirement security, just having to pray, free summers and vacations, no responsibilities for children or finances. Here's a reality check.