(Published July 18, 2008) As the oldest of four children, I grew up on a farm near Jamestown and I attended school in a one-room school.
We belonged to a mission parish and my parents were very involved with parish life. Our Sunday routine was attending Mass followed by going to my grandparents where relatives gathered for a meal, visiting and fun.
I believe that our family life helped to nurture my vocation. We prayed the rosary together, attended devotions and Bible studies, and invited the priests to our home for meals. I saw God as present and helping our family in all areas of daily living.
I met the Sisters of St. Joseph first through a pamphlet and later when they came to teach vacation Bible school. From those experiences, I knew I wanted to attend the Apostolic School at the Motherhouse. I knew God was calling me to enter the community. I wrote a letter to Mother Helena, was accepted and entered on September 8, 1965.
My whole family shared in getting ready for this journey gathering things for my trunk. Mom even made my clothes.
I became an LPN caring for the sick at St. Mary’s Hospital in Manhattan and St. John’s Hospital in Salina. This started a healing ministry for me and had a deep impact on my prayer life. I found myself making a deeper commitment to health care which led me to become a certified chaplain in 1978. I remained in hospital ministry until 1980 and then reached out to do the healing ministries in parish life as a pastoral associate. In the late 1990s I returned to health care as a chaplain. Currently I minister as chaplain in an acute care hospital in Hays, KS, offering spiritual and emotional support as part of a health care team to staff , patients and their families.
In my spare time I enjoy music, sewing and being with people. I celebrated my 40th Jubilee as a Sister of St. Joseph in 2006. I believe now as I did when first called to religious life those many years ago – that religious life allows me to be my true self. I enjoy a deep awareness and joy in my relationship with God.
To the people of Salina diocese I would say: The opportunities to know, love and serve God are hidden within plain sight. In whatever walk of life you are called to, if God is the reason you get up in the morning you will keep falling in love again and again. If you have a religious vocation “come and see.”