Catholic Vocation Placed Above Every Other Desire

Sister JulieAnn Sheahan

January 09, 2018

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Community Director Sister Natalie Binversie shares on the life of Sister Jean Heppler. Here’s a portion of her reflection. To read the entire document, click here: Franciscan Sister Jean Heppler Wake Reflection

Among Sister Jean’s personal items was a reflection that she had written in regard to her vocational call.  She wrote, When I was in the eighth grade I desired a bicycle with all my heart, but I also wanted to be a Sister.  One day my Mom said to me, “I’ll buy you a bike if you don’t go to the Convent.”  I was highly incensed that she’d say such a thing, so I answered (however, not very kindly), You can keep the bike, I’m going to the Convent!  As I look back now, I believe she was testing me to see if I really wanted to be a Sister.  

 

Among Sister Jean’s personal items was a reflection that she had written in regard to her vocational call.  She wrote, When I was in the eighth grade I desired a bicycle with all my heart, but I also wanted to be a Sister.  One day my Mom said to me, “I’ll buy you a bike if you don’t go to the Convent.”  I was highly incensed that she’d say such a thing, so I answered (however, not very kindly), You can keep the bike, I’m going to the Convent!  As I look back now, I believe she was testing me to see if I really wanted to be a Sister. 

Jean applied to enter Holy Family Convent and was accepted.  Before she entered on June 11, 1940 she experienced another family tradition.  When a child left home for their vocation, they knelt before their Dad, whom she called “Pa.”  Pa gave his blessing for the new life that would begin.  Pa did this for Jean before she left for the Convent.  He added, “Remember you are going to a life of sacrifice, but the doors at home are open if you want to come back.”

 

At the time of her Reception, June 11, 1941, Jean received the name of Sister M. Paschal.  After Vatican Council II, since the name did not have a special meaning for her, she returned to the form of her baptismal name by which she was known and became Sister Jean.

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