Sister Janet was born in Santa Monica, Calif., and raised in the San Fernando Valley. As a child, science was her favorite subject. She remembers reading science books with great interest, including one of her father’s college physics book. To the amazement of all, she understood some of it, including the Doppler effect. Always a diligent student, part of her motivation to do well in school was that if she had a good report card, she did not have to do housework! It also helped that she enjoyed learning.
Her early ministry was teaching elementary school. During the summers, she worked with developmentally disabled children. After that, she was a missionary in Colmeia, Brazil, ministering in a “priestless” parish. A priest came every six to eight weeks to celebrate the sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation. The Sisters were responsible for everything else in the parish, including, among other things, the performing of marriages, baptisms and funerals for the parishioners, sacramental preparation courses, training catechists and facilitating religious education programs, visiting the sick and home bound, and supervising lay leadership formation. The goal was to train lay leaders well enough that the Sisters could move on to another location. Sister Janet said, “And that is exactly what happened in Colmeia, which means ‘beehive.’ We certainly were a beehive of activity!”
After returning from Brazil, she worked in campus ministry at the secondary level. Her most recent ministry before her transfer was teaching secondary education in Los Angeles.
Sister Janet is woman of many interests and talents. An artist, her primary art form is pen and ink. She likes pointillism and calligraphy but “dabbles in everything.” She makes cards, designs logos and does calligraphy on the envelopes of wedding invitations. She plays guitar, mostly for her own entertainment, although she has played for students and on other occasions. She enjoys walking, listening to music, reading and has always been known as a “good letter writer.”
Sister Janet says, “Actually, I write not only letters, but poetry, prayers, sometimes even a short story. I am an avid journal-keeper.” All of her hobbies and skills are self-taught.
She first met the CSJs of Concordia in 1990 when she lived in their house in El Paso for a month while doing a border experience. She recalls that the “seed was planted then that I was being called to this community. The call kept getting stronger until I could no longer deny it. I re-connected with this community through the website in January of this year. From that, I made some contacts, did some discernment, and here I am!”