When I came to the Joliet Franciscan community I was looking forward to being part of the joyful group I had come to know when these sisters were my teachers in elementary school. Also, because I had always wanted to be a teacher from the time I was a child, I felt that this teaching community’s charism was a good fit. Over the many years I have been a Franciscan I have learned much more about St. Francis, about ministry, and about the Church than I ever knew as a fresh high school graduate with high ideals and vocation energy. But through all these years my desire to teach has never waned, and my love for this Spirit-filled, musically gifted, multi-talented, forward-looking, warm-hearted, quick-to-laugh community of sisters has only grown.
Times have changed since the early 1960’s when I entered my community. The post Vatican II Church blossomed and called for renewal from religious congregations. Responding to new needs, Joliet Franciscans expanded their ministries to embrace the spirit of our foundress in her outreach to those who most needed her in her lifetime. Not many of us are working in schools anymore. Feeling born to teach, however, I have pursued new ways to do that through religious education for families and adults and through writing about Scripture and prayer. I am passionate about helping people understand the reasons for the changes they have experienced in the Catholic Church and equally passionate about helping Catholics to learn about other religions so that peace can come from understanding.
I look to Jesus and to St. Francis as the peacemakers who gave me shining examples of loving our enemies, loving all of creation, bridging divides and embracing those whom others reject. I look to my community of Franciscan women who are also shining examples of Gospel living. I look to myself to stay in touch with the sense of vocation and mission that first inspired me those many years ago.