Franciscan Sister’s Letters of Gratitude for Consecrated Life

Sister JulieAnn Sheahan

March 19, 2016

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Community Director Sister Natalie Binversie shares Sister Jerianne Stelmach’s letters through her process of formation in our community.  To read the entire reflection on Sister Jerianne’s life, click here: Wake Reflection for Franciscan Sister Jerianne Stelmach

In the letters that Sister Jerianne wrote to Sister Henrielda as a Temporary Professed Sister one can gain a glimpse into her mind and heart, recognizing her deep love for life and gratitude for everything! In part I quote from these letters:

Sister, rejoice with me as I become in this life. I request of you, Sister, that I may become a professed member of this Community of Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity. With this request I willingly and sincerely assume the obligations of this religious life, living out with my whole heart and soul, the Evangelical Counsels of Chastity, Poverty and Obedience. With a peaceful spirit I shall follow the Franciscan Rule and the Constitutions and all the Directives.” May 3, 1970Franciscan Sister Jerianne and Temporary Professed Sisters

“It truly has been a year of growth and of new insight into religious life. I am also very grateful for the many opportunities to have deepened my prayer-life, for I find this as an essential value in my life…..I pray that I may remain open to whatever God has in store for me.” June 1971 

“May the peace of our Risen Lord be with you. Hopefully, we shall soon see the touch of spring all over. I’ll be glad when this white snow disappears. I like to look at the color ‘green’ by now. With another year gone by I have come to a deeper realization that I need to become more dependent upon God for strength as I help to share and build Community. It’s a real challenge, but I’m willing to grow and sacrifice myself in bringing this good news that God really lives in us.” April 5, 1972

“Spring is always in the soul that loves God!” Spring 1973Franciscan Sister Jerianne Stelmach

“It’s truly great to belong to this Community! The opportunities you have given to us to grow closer to the Lord and to experience the gift of sharing life together is certainly appreciated.” 1974

“There is so much in this world to be truly grateful for and I for one am grateful to God for calling me and for sharing His life with me.” 1975Franciscan Sister Jerianne with Sisters

At the time of her Silver Jubilee, Sister Jerianne wrote, “What return can I make to the Lord, for his generosity to me? I shall fulfill my vows to the Lord witnessed by all his people. Ps. 116:12, 14 These verses sum up the humbled feelings I have, as I reflect on my life as a Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity. God has been so good to me, enriching my life with so many blessings; my wonderful family and my Sisters within Community. Franciscan Sister Jerianne's family todayHe has gifted me with opportunities to give glory to Him through my ministry as a homemaker, which has taken me down paths of growth and has enhanced my life and made me realize the beauty of service with joy. My desire is to continue on this journey and fulfill the vows to my God. These years have been years of favor from Him and I pray that the inner joy I feel with gratitude will give glory to God.”

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