Meet many Sisters and read their stories and blogs on the Global Sisters Report Web site here
Sisters of the Divine Savior
When Sister Mary Lee Grady, SDS reflects on life as a Sister of the Divine Savior, she rejoices in the gift of vocation she believes God gives each of us.
“What I consider the great gift of religious life I also consider the greatest challenge, and that is community living,” says Sr. Mary Lee. “I always knew I wanted to teach and serve the church. It’s why I entered–but it’s not why I stay. I want to live in community with women who want to serve God as I do. It’s a way to live out our baptismal commitment to others who share the same deep values of community life and prayer.”
Sr. Mary Lee fulfilled her dream to teach in more than 20 years at Divine Savior Holy Angels High School in Milwaukee, where she also served as a guidance counselor and an administrator. She also ministered 13 years in province leadership, and now serves on the New Membership Team and as a licensed addictions therapist for Milwaukee-area behavioral health facilities. Sr. Mary Lee is inspired by a passage from her congregation’s constitution that she received when she professed her vows in 1961: At all times, our concern is for the salvation of the whole person.
“I feel I can do that in focusing on physical, emotional, and spiritual needs in my vocation/formation ministry, as well as in counseling persons who struggle with addiction and mental illness.” And when it comes to helping women respond to the call to religious life, Sr. Mary Lee says, “I love working one-on-one with women and watching God’s work in them.”
She says international formation meetings in Poland and Colombia were two of many highlights in her 53 years as a Salvatorian. Sharing formation goals and dreams in those settings fostered her appreciation for being a member of an international congregation.
“We see the church and the world from a global perspective,” says Sr. Mary Lee. “The opportunity to see how different members of our congregation minister to different needs around the world enriches our own experience.” Sr. Mary Lee came to know the Sisters of the Divine Savior while attending Divine Savior High School. She went on to major in Latin, German and French, as well as education at Mt. Mary College, then earned a master’s degree in counseling from Marquette University.
Holy Cross Sisters USA Province
I entered the Community in 1995 and made first profession as a Holy Cross Sister in 1997. I call myself a “late vocation,” (or bloomer) because I was enjoying the “single life,” owned my
own home, and enjoyed a career as a business teacher in northern Lower Michigan for many years. I was active in my parish on committees and in liturgical ministries. When S. Celine Goessl came to the parish as pastoral associate, and later as pastoral administrator, I became an associate of the Holy Cross Sisters and grew more aware of what the contemporary life of a sister was all about. I took an early retirement from teaching in 1994 and was S. Celine’s pastoral associate before entering the novitiate.
Today, I minister in Green Bay at St. John the Baptist Parish in Howard as pastoral
associate. Some of my responsibilities and involvement in the parish include working with the RCIA, Infant Baptism Preparation, Food Pantry, Social Concerns Committee, Adult Faith Formation, New Member registration, Adult Confirmation and Elizabeth Ministry. I also am a lay leader of prayer, a lector and Communion minister. I visit parishioners in the hospitals and nursing homes in the area. One of the most recent activities was as a part of the parish’s involvement in Feed My Starving Children, packing “Manna Packs” of food to be shipped to help feed starving
children all over the world. For the past couple of years I have also served as a councilor on the leadership of the Holy Cross Sisters USA Province.
Email Sister Kathy Lange, SCSC at email@example.com
Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity
– Born in St. Louis, Mo., the third of five children; family moved to Grand Blanc, MI when she was 8; attended Grand Blanc Public Schools.
– Currently teaching Junior high on the Gila River Reservation in AZ
Community definitely stretches you as a person. For myself, being called, when I think about when I was asked to go to Bapchule Arizona, that was a bit frightening, I’m not sure I can do that, go into a new culture, different, my biggest fear was ‘how am I going to relate to these students? ‘ I never grew up in the environment that they grew up in.
How do I develop a relationship with these students? My other big fear was in teaching – I have French teaching background, and here I was going to be teaching English, arts, would I be able to teach those? I love literature but can I teach literature? but the community sees in you what you don’t necessarily see within yourself.
And I think there’s a trust that goes into that, and a listening aspect also. And you just depend on the grace of God, and He’s been there the entire time
It’s a big consolation, knowing that when you’re called to do something, even though there might be an initial and I think normal reaction of fear to it, again, depending on God and His graces, trusting that the community sees in you, those gifts and abilities that you might not see within yourself.
– Born in Chicago, IL; attended Notre Dame University for Masters in Liturgy
– Currently pastoral Leader at St. Mary Catholic Community, Omro, WI and St. Mary Catholic Community, Winneconne, WI
I always look at Francis who was a great lover of people, creation, everything – every part of his life was lived as a gift. For us to remember that in the world of consumerism when we do a lot of taking, a lot of expecting things instead of giving things, I think it’s important for there to be someone in the world whose not looking for what I can get out of the situation but what can I give to the situation.. with that perspective, it’s not in the back of my mind but just a part of how I live, that life is more about giving than taking. And that’s how Francis lived his life. So to be a witness to that, to remind people that’s what we’re about, is really important
I have been blessed in so many ways – I come from a great family, I come from a community that has supported me, and I have friends who love me, and so much of my life has been blessed that I think the only think I can do is be of service to other in the same way, to reach out to someone who hasn’t been as blessed. And that might sound sort of corny but that really has been my life’s philosophy…. It’s so easy to be happy.
- Originally from Parker Dam, CA; home parish in Diocese of Tucson
- Currently teaching 3 rd grade at St. Francis of Assisi School, Greenwood, MI
A life as a Franciscan Sister feels natural to me. St Francis had it right; he lived in an era like us that was consumed with the poor. He reached out to the poor when many walked by and wished them well. As a Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity we are called to be with the poor in many various levels: spirituality, education, healthcare, parish ministries. Our daily lives are not focused on one occupation. As a 3rd grade teacher I have touched the lives of the poor also as a servant, as a spiritual healer, and as a friend. Mission life is filled with our merciful Savior, Jesus.
My greatest influence in my life is Holy Scripture. The Word of God has always been my strength, my courage, and my source for understanding how much God loves us. Spending an hour or more each day in Scripture has moved my life to see Jesus within those in need of love.
I would encourage all to follow God, and for those who believe that they have a call to religious life, I would say, “Dive into the Deep Abyss of God’s LOVE.” As a consecrated religious life becomes richer and sweeter than honey because God is your rock. It is like your once was blind and now you can see, because Jesus has healed you. Life all around you is brighter and filled with immense joy. A joy you never experienced before is given by the Light of Christ.
Sister Elena’s Blog: http://mississippisisters.fscc-calledtobe.org/
Meet the Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross here
Charism of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross
Bay Settlement/Green Bay, WI
Each religious congregation has a particular “charism.” A charism is a special identifying grace or gift given to the congregation for the common good of the Church.
Our charism links us to our Crosier founder, Father Edward Francis Daems, who desired that we live simply, humbly, and joyfully. Fr. Daems’ love of the Holy Cross of Jesus Christ, his deep and selfless living of the Gospel among the early immigrants of Wisconsin and the strength he drew from daily Eucharist remain a part of our hearts and lives. He chose the rule of St. Francis for us so that St. Francis’ values of conversion, contemplation, poverty and minority/service might be expressed in our daily lives personally, communally and in ministry.
We describe ourselves as Sisters rooted in the Cross, Word and Eucharist who value simplicity, hospitality and prayer. We compassionately respond to the needs of our times to uphold human dignity, pursue peace and promote Gospel justice. We pray and strive to live our charism among all in the Church and world.
Meet more Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross on their Web site here