Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Postulant Hilda shares on her own recent Emmaus experiences at St. Paul Elder Services in Kaukauna, Wisconsin and her life with the Sister Delores Wisnicky and Sister Juden Lang at St. Paul Convent.
For my first mission experience, I was sent to St. Paul’s in Kaukauna. There I stayed with Sister Juden and Sister Delores. I had an absolutely wonderful time getting to know both of them. Both, in their own unique way, taught me so much about caring for people in different stages of life. I felt very welcomed and completely spoiled while in Kaukauna. Both Sister Delores and Sister Juden were very open and willing to answer any questions that I had. It was nice to see how things worked in a smaller convent.
The residents at St. Paul’s taught me something beautiful as well. We had a lot more in common, then I would have assumed. Like myself, some of the residents in the Villa were adjusting to a new environment, one they had never experience before. They shared their experiences with having to give things up and the difficulty we can sometimes face in being obedient to God and where he has placed us. It was enlightening to see how several of them had come together to truly form a community and support system. Part of our human nature is the need for forming meaningful relationships with other people, and it was heart-warming to experience a place that was not only safe but provided social events for their residents and those that they care for.
It was also comforting to see how the priest and brothers came together during mass, the care and compassion that they showed each other was magnificent. There was a certain magic in seeing them all wear their stoles during mass. Regardless of their mental of physical capability, they hadn’t lost who they were in relationship to God and if that not beautiful, then I don’t know what is. There is something so completely inspiring to me about the way that these men have been able to remain in relationship with God. These precious moments of observation were paramount in my Lenten journey this year. One, it allowed me to see outside of myself but it also provided me with hope and reminded of the collateral beauty that comes with difficulties. It reminded me that with God, there is no pain without purpose and with every struggle that we face there is a certain beauty to it. It reminded me to be thankful always.