When Shannon Evans was in high school, she wanted to go on a mission trip to Africa. She came across the website for the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth and contacted Luke Boiarski, SCN, about the possibility of volunteering in Botswana. Though the experience in Botswana did not materialize, the contact with Sister Luke started a wonderful journey for Shannon.

Her first stop was a trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee, with the SCN Disaster Relief program to help with cleanup after a tornado. Shannon realized that emergency management is a growing field as she helped respond to the devastation caused by the tornado. Moved by her experience, she decided to pursue a college degree in emergency management studies. After the trip, Shannon sent flowers to Sister Luke, with a card that read, “Thank you for changing my life.”

The people she has come to know through the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth are like extended family says, Shannon. They have become “like brothers, sisters, adopted parents, and lifelong friends,” she shares. Through her mission trips in Tennessee, Belize, and Louisiana, Shannon says that the Sisters have left a mark on her heart forever.

Sister Luke and Nancy Gerth, SCN, formed a new young-adult associate group called Charity Alive and invited Shannon to be a founding member. Charity Alive is similar to the SCN Associate program, in which members formalize their relationship to the Congregation and live by the values and charism of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. Charity Alive is aimed at the younger generation, who are in college, entering the workforce, or starting their families.

“Nazareth is home, our safe haven, and our stable factor in our life,” says Shannon. “In an ever-changing world, it is a beautiful feeling to be able to travel there with those you care about and refocus your wants and desires in alignment with your values.”

Through Charity Alive, mission trips, and associating with the Sisters, Shannon says she has learned so much about “how to love, seek peace, believe in the works of God, and even how to put up a chain link fence.” Someday, she notes, she will be able to share her experiences with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, with her future children, as she continues with her calling in life. “The Sisters are everyday individuals, but with extraordinary attributes,” Shannon says. “They are the inspiration, the heart, and soul of charity, peace, and love, all in human form.”

Shannon’s major, university, memories, friendships, and even career goals all center around the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. “Shannon is a remarkable young woman,” says Sister Luke. “Working with young people like Shannon gives me great hope for the future. Joining hands and hearts with others is the way we move forward in making our world a better place and witness to God’s love.”