(Published Sept. 5, 2008) I grew up on a small farm community in northwest Kansas, near Seguin. The parish church, St. Martin, displays the corner stone of 1931. This is significant to me since it is also my birth year. The Catholic parish community, however, has a greater history.
My grandparents, Henry and Caroline Geerdes, moved to the area for the specific reason that a Catholic church was to be built there in the near future. The church would have a pastor assigned to it!
My grandparents Peter and Katherine Reinert arrived earlier and established a farm northwest of Seguin.
The early church community originally gathered at the Nick Koster home whenever a priest could come. A tornado destroyed the first church that was built – not once but twice! The current church was built on a new site above the church hall.
Perhaps the cornerstone or maybe the vocation prayer near the statue of Our Blessed Mother was the beginning of the vocation seed that was planted within me. I frequently knelt and prayed the prayer from the plaque on the communion rail but I included in my prayer, “not me, but others.” It seemed so important a call.
My freshman year I was taught by the Sisters of St. Joseph at Leoville, KS but it wasn’t until I arrived at Marymount College in Salina when my counselor, Sister Clement Marie, asked if I ever thought of being a nun. My secret was out! Yes, I was thinking about it. Even so, it took another year for me to quit resisting and enter the community of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia. I have never regretted my decision! It has been a gift for me. I would make the same choice all over again.
Today, St. Martin’s is again a mission church. The faith once nurtured by the great grandparents of today’s parishioners may well be the fertile seed for new generations yet to come. It is the faith community that nurtures the seed of every vocation.
I am most grateful for the community that nurtured and encouraged me in my journey toward religious life. Currently, I am a retired nurse. I am grateful for the many opportunities I have had to minister to God’s people helping in His work of healing both spirit and body. I live at the Motherhouse assisting with our older sisters by visiting, companioning and praying with them.