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Without Seeing, I Believe – Sr. Jan

April 8, 2021

Today is the 2nd Sunday of Easter, also known as Divine Mercy Sunday. As I  reflected on the readings for the day, trying to decide my topic for today’s pastoral column, I realized there were many directions to go. I will share a story from my life that the Gospel recalled.

Each year at the end of Holy Week, we Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, receive our mission assignments for the coming year. During March the Leadership Team of our Congregation prays, meets, plans and confers with us about these assignments.

One year their request was that I leave a place and a ministry I loved, namely working with education students and student teachers at Silver Lake College of the Holy Family. It was a time I could give back to others all that I had received there at that college and had practiced for many years, teaching in Catholic schools across the country.

I was asked to go to Cambridge, Ohio to teach Middle School Math. Oh my, I thought, back to Grades 6, 7, and 8 after 25 years. Why me? Why now? Here I was doubting
the assignment just like Thomas in the Gospel. I did not want to leave and begin again. While talking with my brother, he reminded me that if there is just one person
there in Ohio who needs me, I should go. I decided after consultation and prayer that God was calling me, and I would go and give it my best. I went without “proof” that it
would be a good experience.

Those two years in Ohio were two of the best of my 50 years in education. They were years of blessing. It was a wonderful experience. I never had a discipline problem of
any size and could spend my days teaching students who wanted to learn. Thus, I spent the last two years of my teaching vocation in a school that had the best family spirit, a parish and priests who supported us, and teachers and the Principal who formed a true community. Another blessing was that I lived in a convent with four other Sisters of my Community who loved life, ministry and lived community.

I felt like Thomas doubting this request by my Community Leadership Team for I could not see why it was good. Yet, I went fully planning to give it my best and came to realize it was definitely God’s will. It was God’s reminder to me that “Without seeing, I should believe.” For sure following the Call of God is always “doing the right thing.” Sometimes we say yes, not knowing the future God has in store for us. He is there ahead of us; He walks the journey with us. Let us say YES!


Sr. Jan