Sower’s Seed program

What is Sower’s Seed?

The first Sower’s Seed speaker, Marie Dennis ’64, shared her story in 2005. She spoke about her work with the Maryknoll Organization, and her years of advocacy for impoverished people. Hear her words to Trinity Washington University students:

  • Open your heart; say yes; take some risks; cross borders; keep growing;
  • Try to look at reality through the eyes of those who are poor, living on the margins of life, excluded.

This lecture was made possible by The Sower’s Seed, a fund that was established by Kelly Snider Dunn, class of 1964, to support the vision that was instilled in her as a student at Trinity: a sense of commitment to serving God by responding to the problems and needs of the world.

Let us consider the significance of the program’s name, Sower’s Seed. 

The phrase sower’s seed is biblical based, from Jesus’ Parable of the Sower:

“Listen! A sower went out to sow. As he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no dept of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let any with ears listen!” Matthew 13: 3-9

Here are some questions to ponder:

What are the seeds that God has planted in my heart?

My gifts, my faith, my desire to serve, the special group I want to serve, and my passion—be it a love for philosophy, the sciences, the natural world, music, or art.

What are the seeds that God has given me to plant in the world around me?

The often-quoted words of Frederick Buechner, American writer and  theologian, come to mind:

“Vocation is the place where our deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.”

During Sower’s Seed Week, in its tenth anniversary, we heard many people’s stories about the seeds they have sown. We heard Sr. Katy Webster’s story of her work for human rights and environmental justice in the Amazon Basin. We heard the stories of social justice advocates in our own community: Sr. Eucharia Madeuke, the Cunneen Fellows, and students volunteering in Washington, D.C. We heard the prophetic voices of Drs. Camilla Burns and Mary Johnson, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, who connected the words of Pope Francis’ book Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home to our own classrooms and daily lives.

As the Teller of parables says: “Listen! . . . Let any with ears listen!”

And may the many stories told this week continue to take root in the fertile minds of listeners and bear abundant fruit!


Return to the Sower’s Seed Overview or view the Past Speakers.