Vocation awareness week – “We need something new,” I said to a few faculty members. For years we have asked a few questions to classes, helping them explore a few horizons. This year Mrs. Nealon said, “The kids think all you do is pray and come to school. Tell them what you enjoy doing!” Now don’t get me wrong we enjoy being here, but we did expound upon things a bit. There are five of us CKs here and five days of the week, so last week each of us took a day and a couple minutes after Mass to tell the kids a bit more about us as unique individuals. The St. Peter team is circled below in this community picture.
I took Monday, here’s what followed:
Sister Mary Michael – I get to be married to the perfect spouse, Jesus, and live with my best friends. I, and all of us Sisters, wear a wedding band on our left hand as we are married to the King. He has claimed our hearts, which we gladly give to Him. There is nothing like knowing I belong totally to Him.
Sister Mary Guadalupe – Growing up I experienced Sisters, but I never thought about being one because I didn’t think that I was the kind of person that Sisters were. I liked playing sports and wanted to be a physical therapist. In 7th grade I had a moment when God let me know pretty clearly that I was called to be a Sister, but I wasn’t interested. Throughout high school and into college Jesus started changing my heart and instead of just thinking that I had to be a Sister, I started to want to be a Sister and give my life completely to Jesus. I found out that Sisters aren’t all alike and aren’t exactly what I thought they were. One of the many gifts that Jesus has given me in Religious Life is to become more and more the person He created me to be.
Sister Edith Marie – In Matthew 19:29, Jesus says, “And everyone who has given up houses or brother or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life.” Jesus was faithful to me in this promise. One desire I had before entering religious life was to travel. At one point I even thought about being an airplane stewardess. As I discerned my religious vocation, I thought the desire to travel would have to be sacrificed. Several years after being a Sister, God fulfilled my desire by allowing me to attend World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany. The opportunity to see different countrysides, cities, people, and to be involved in World Youth Day was exciting. However, Jesus had even more in store for me. My patron saint, St. Edith Stein, was a Carmelite in Cologne. While there I was able to celebrate my feast day, visit different sites connected with her and to have housing a block from where her Carmel Monastery was when she was alive. I was able to walk on the ground and pray in the places where she lived out her religious vocation. What an unexpected gift!
Sister Mary Maximilian – I was blessed to have the Sisters teach me in school here in Lincoln and since I was in 2nd grade, I wanted to be a School Sister of Christ the King. I remember noticing how good my heart felt when I was around them. As I grew, I tried to keep taking ‘the next best step’ towards the Lord which lead me to saying “yes” to Jesus and belonging totally to Him.
Sister Mary Angela – Two tidbits that people often don’t know about me involve my growing up years. First of all, my favorite number is 13 due to being the 13th child in my family. Plus my mom had a great devotion to Our Lady of Fatima so I always felt a special connection to Mary since she appeared to the Fatima children on the 13th of the month. Secondly, like many families, I grew up with dogs. However, we didn’t just have one dog, or two or three. In order to help support our large family, my mom raised about a dozen breeds of purebred dogs and sold the puppies, so we had 50-60 dogs on our farm. Starting in 5th grade my chores every morning included about a half hour of carrying 5-gallon buckets of water to fill dog bowls for the day. The dogs played a big role in my life since I got my first dog, Sally, for Christmas when I was five. She was a Sheltie and I raised puppies from her until I was in high school. One of her daughters, Sharlene, died suddenly when I was in 7th grade and this was actually a big grace in my life because it was the first time I can remember really praying to God from my heart, asking why He allowed it to happen. I really enjoyed training my dogs and always had dreamed of having my own kennel of show dogs when I grew up. But as much as I delighted in what I could teach them, I had never dreamed that God would use these same gifts to help me learn to teach children. When He called me to be a Sister and to join a teaching Community, I found the reward of helping young souls know and love Jesus far outweighed any “trick” I could ever have done with a dog. I consider this to be a testimony to the Lord’s creativity!
We are blessed to serve here in our school on a daily basis. Thanks for sharing your children with us.