Sister Christine Doman

San Bernardino, Calif.

christine-domanEven though I was born in Grand Junction, Colo., I spent most of my childhood and young adult life in Grand Island, Neb. I attended the public schools in Grand Island from kindergarten to fifth grade. In 1950, when my family joined the Catholic Church, I began sixth grade at St. Mary’s Grade School. I attended six years at St. Mary’s and graduated in 1956 in the last class to graduate from St. Mary’s Cathedral High School. Our class was to be the first class to graduate from the new Central Catholic but the school was not completed for occupancy until the following fall.

My parents, Hazel Williams Doman and Paul Doman, were both raised in the sand hills of Nebraska in Broken Bow and Anselmo. I have one brother, Charles, who lives in Riverside, Calif. Both of my parents are deceased having died in 1990. I have cousins who still live in Grand Island, Anselmo, Omaha and Lincoln.

I remember the war years and the day that President Roosevelt died. My mom had the radio playing in the kitchen while I played outside in the backyard. I heard the announcer ask us all to stand in quiet attention out of respect. I stood there saluting as mom looked out the window. We had rations to buy sugar and other items such as silk hose for mom. Once we were caught in a “blackout” when we returned from a visit to my grandfather. We had to get off the train and find our way to the depot in the pitch dark. I remember the day the Second World War ended. My cousin, who had just returned from a tour in Germany, came to take us for a ride through the downtown to celebrate. In school we brought cigar boxes and put small gifts in them for the soldiers. We had a girl in my class in 3rd grade from England. She told us about her days there during the “air raids” and we admired her bravery.

My fondest memory was the kindness of the priests, Rt. Rev. Msgr. Leo Keating, Msgr. Egging and Father Hayden who gave our family instructions. My parents had been introduced to Msgr. Hayden and invited to his Lenten lectures. He would drive out to the school where we attended and take us to St. Mary’s for instructions. Our parents would come after work. The class of converts was so large and special that Bishop Hunkler baptized us. The ceremony was very long on that hot, June evening that one lady fainted. That made the ceremony even longer! My brother’s baptismal booklet was printed upside down and we had the giggles about that.

I have many wonderful memories of my teachers in both public and Catholic schools. The class of ‘56 is the greatest of friends one could ever have. I remember listening to the Nebraska State football games on the radio. When I was in junior high a family I baby-sat for invited me to attend band day. The husband was a former famous Nebraska football player. I loved the school dances and didn’t miss many unless I was grounded for staying out too late. (Ha.)

Having met the sisters in school, I felt very loved by them. My mom and dad loved and respected each one, too. When I was in the eighth grade the apostolic school opened. Sister Malachy wanted some of us to go to it but my dad was against it. He told me that he didn’t want me to become a “wall flower” and that I should enjoy my high school days at home. Sister Margaret Anne took two of us to Concordia that summer to visit the Motherhouse where we were introduced to Mother Chrysostom. Her niece, Pat, was in my class and lived one block from us. When her three aunt sisters came to visit, it was special.

I believe the grace of God influenced me to enter the CSJ community along with advice from my pastors and teachers. Of course, I didn’t want to listen to that advice too hard for some time. Sister Yvonne gave me the life of the Little Flower to read and I was more interested. That the religious of the parish even thought I could be a sister was an amazement to me. I wanted to do something special for the church and for God. It was hard to leave my dear family and friends but God gave me the courage to try it out. It was very humbling to even admit to it. It was God’s desire that overwhelmed my simple desires.

Anyone from Nebraska who has a spark of desire to consider religious life should give it her best effort. People from the Midwest are hard working and genuine, lovers of the earth and the fruits of their labors are determined and refined in the giving. The small Midwestern way of life develops deep enduring friendships and ability to work together to get a task complete. Constant and faithful prayer and trust are the fabric of their lives. Our CSJ community is nestled in the midwestern culture and divine trust in God’s Providence. Wisdom is learned in the quiet beauty of
the plains.

I have been involved in the ministry of education as teacher, administrator, director of educational planning, director of personnel; and in CSJ congregational leadership team as councilor and president. I have been missioned in Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska , California and throughout Kansas. Currently I am a seventh grade teacher at St. Anthony’s Grade School in San Bernardino, Calif. I also do prison ministry at Chino Women’s Institution.

My interests are in helping people better their lives, learning about various cultures, reading, walking, swimming, picnics, traveling, music and arts and crafts.