Sister Hyeon Nyeon Lee, SC made a perpetual commitment to God to live her life in service and fidelity to the charism of the Sisters of Charity through the profession of perpetual vows of poverty, obedience, and consecrated celibacy. On April 23, 2022 a special Mass with the ritual of final vows was celebrated at the Chapel of the Assumption at Caritas Christi, the motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill. Sisters and Sister Hyeon’s family and friends were in attendance.
During this final commitment to becoming a Sister of Charity, Sister Hyeon signed a vow card and received a silver ring marked with three crosses. The ring is a sign of perpetual commitment, and the crosses are a reminder of the vows of poverty, obedience, and consecrated celibacy. Her excitement in making her vows filled the chapel with applause and joy.
Sister Janet Mock, CSJ, served as Sister Hyeon’s spiritual director over the last few years. After communion, she offered her reflection. She spoke of a transformation in the church and a celebration of what is emerging.
Sister Hyeon entered the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill on March 16, 2019. Her journey to becoming a Sister of Charity was not a straight road. Born in Korea, Sister Hyeon was baptized Catholic in the 6th grade and did not attend church regularly. It was 25 years later, when she was an academic studying for her doctorate in psychology from Brandeis University in Boston when she was called to strengthen her relationship with God. She began attending liturgy and prayer groups at a Catholic parish in Boston and embraced a deep warmth felt in her heart. She realized God showed himself as love and wanted to do the same for others.
After returning to Korea, her spiritual life continued to grow while attending prayer meetings, ministry and community events at the Sisters of Charity’s Korean Provincial House. She continued her career in academia but entered into a year of prayer asking for God’s direction for a life more fulfilled.
This contemplative time began her journey toward religious life. When she translated for Sister Caroljean Willie, Sister of Charity of Cincinnati in Korea for a project, Sister Cj suggested she consider meeting the US Province of the Sisters of Seton Hill. She was overjoyed at how naturally comfortable it was to be with them. After further prayer, she traveled back to the United States and the heartfelt welcome from the sisters shaped her future.
During her postulancy, Sister Hyeon ministered with elderly persons at the Elizabeth Seton Memory Care Center at Caritas Christi and at Seton Center in Pittsburgh for nearly a year. She grew to love and know the sisters and found a “deep, rich, joyful life.” The prayer and community strengthened her decision to move to the novitiate, the next stage of formation. She knew this was the place where God wanted her to grow.
Sister Hyeon’s decision to become a Sister of Charity came from the love from the sisters, God’s rejoicing in her and the deep need to devote herself to the absolute reason she was created, to live out love.
Sister Hyeon studied in Korea, France and the United States, receiving both a B.A. and M.A. in French. She holds an M.A. in Psychology from Ball State University in Indiana and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Brandeis University. With this profession of perpetual vows Sister Hyeon joins the ranks of the fully professed Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill.