The ministry of a sister, in her own words:
Sister Mary Lou Carlson
"When I entered the Sisters of St. Francis I
never imagined I would have the experiences of retreats, enriching
educational classes, pilgrimage to Assisi, and even a month study
in the Holy Land! I had always loved the yearly retreat at my high
school and felt I was being called by God. Today, in my ministry in
Resurrection Parish I facilitate a weekly Exploring Scripture session,
discussing the next Sundays readings. Im part of the RCIA team that
journeys with people to know, love, and serve God. Im Director of
Outreach so I work with the Inter Faith group, which gives me many
opportunities to assist the poor. I coordinate Eucharistic ministers to
the home bound so isolated people can experience Christ coming to them.
This has been a growth filled journey that has given me opportunities
be stretched and challenged, to live a life based on the Gospel, and
try to be a peacemaker."
Sister LaVern Olberding
"When I entered the Sisters of St. Francis in 1961 I imagined
myself as a dynamic teacher, in a habit, in a Catholic school. I came from a
faith-filled family and thought that in the
convent environment I would achieve holiness faster and to a much higher degree.
In 2004, I came to California to be the Operations Coordinator of Atwood &
Thompson, Inc., the oldest solid surface company in San Diego County. The
business world and workplace each offered a myriad of opportunities to grow in
holiness as I continued to learn and
live into new ways of being an authentic instrument/teacher of Franciscan
nonviolence . . . in my khaki-colored work pants and polo shirt
In October of 2012 still broader
opportunities availed themselves . . . The Franciscan Peace Connection became
the Western Region satellite of our Clinton, Iowa, prototype. Hopefully,
we (the Clinton Franciscan Family members in Southern
California) will be evolving into and filling these "fisher folk
shoes" for the rest of our days. Our curriculum weaves alternatives
to violence, conflict/resolution, empowerment retreats, energy medicine,
interfaith networking, outreach ministry, peace-building/ restorative
justice practices workshops and self-esteem enhancement into a daily routine
that fosters steady streams of miracles to those who remember, "Who
'I am' makes a difference."
Much like Francis, I regard the
world as my cloister. I hold sacred whatever I am doing at the moment: cove-routing
a vanity backsplash, answering the phone, helping someone swap tears for
laughter, inviting street people to join us for lunch, listening to
a customer, an outdoor person or a student share a blessing or a burden .
. . or Skpe -
praying Liturgy of the Hours with others. It isn't what I do
that is important to me, it is the attitude and awareness with which I choose
to do each thing that matters.
As a kid I strived to make a
difference somehow every day and
is still my intent each morning as I awaken to new beginnings."
Sister Kathy Sadler
"I work with people who have Alzheimer's and are in pain, especially
mental pain. They are frightened, confused, frustrated, and unable to
express themselves, explain themselves, care for themselves or do many
of the things they once were able to do. They have experienced so very
many losses. I feel that I am carrying out the mission of the Sisters
of St. Francis by being present to them, listening and reassuring them
they are not alone; that it will be alright because we are with them. A
reassuring hug helps them know
they are loved just as
they are, a
and precious person."