(Published May 8, 2009)
By Sister Helen Mick
I was blessed to grow up in the little town of Tipton, the middle child in a family that included six sisters and two brothers. I think I always knew that I would be a Sister some day, at least from the time of my First Communion, and the whole town supported me in that. Many times people would mention it encouraging me. I am sure that the people of St. Boniface Parish prayed for me more than I will ever know. They were the ones who formed my idea of what it meant to have a vocation to the religious life.
All of my grade and high school years, except kindergarten, were in the Catholic school in Tipton. I was taught by the Sisters all the way through and loved learning and going to school. I loved being with the Sisters before and after school as well as during the day.
I started praying seriously for the grace of this vocation at the time I was in the sixth grade. That year Msgr. James Hake left Tipton to go to the seminary. My teacher, Sister Mary Samon, made “Praying for Jimmy” a regular intention of our daily school prayers. I soon realized that those prayers could be for more than one intention and began praying for “Jimmy to be a priest and me to be a Sister.” That prayer went on all the way through high school.
After graduation I moved to Topeka to have work experience for a few months. I roomed with some Catholic ladies who happened to have a niece in the apostolic school in Concordia. Those ladies also put me in their prayers.
By that fall I realized I needed to begin the process if I was really serious about spending my life as a Sister of St. Joseph. I wrote to Mother Helena and was accepted into the postulancy on Feb. 2, 1956. The first morning I woke up at the motherhouse I knew I was really “at home”. That feeling has never left me. The rest is history.
I have been a Sister for over 50 years and have never regretted the decision I made. All those graced moments have come from a loving God who has guided me over the years and continues being faithful. I have experienced fulfillment in all those ministries to which I have been called: teacher and principal in elementary and junior high schools, administrator of our motherhouse and personal care homes for the elderly, and now, caregiver for the elderly. How truly blessed I am!