Franciscan Sister’s Family History Centers Around a Table

Sister JulieAnn Sheahan

August 28, 2018

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Natalie Binversie reflections on the life and ministry of Sister Mary Jane Mertens. Read her entire reflection here: Franciscan Sister Mary Jane Mertens Reflection.

The family farm where Mary Jane grew up was located two miles west of Kiel. When Mary Jane was nine years old her Grandpa and Grandma Mertens came to live with Mary Jane’s family. In a Jubilee reflection Mary Jane wrote, “The family table in our kitchen was the center of much family history. It was there that we shared, not only food, but our stories and lives. Lots of laughs could be heard. Arguments were settled by looking it up in the encyclopedia that her mother had saved from her teaching days. Many rosaries were prayed kneeling at the kitchen chairs around the table during Lent and during times of special need. After supper Dad and the older boys did the milking and the rest of us cleaned up and had play time. Then the table became a school room for us to do our lessons.”

Mary Jane and her siblings walked the two miles to Church and to School. This is most likely where Mary Jane developed a great love for walking. If they hurried, however, they sometimes got a ride from Sister Lucy and Sister Marie Bernadette Dorn’s Dad who was going their way.

Mary Jane met the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity when she went to Saints Peter and Paul School. In all of her growing up years, she always wanted to be a Sister. When she was in the eighth grade her mother said to her, “If you want to be a Sister, we had better go to see what it is like.” After getting a tour of the Motherhouse and meeting with Mother Generose, Mary Jane came home with application papers.

Are you in need of seeing what it is like to be a Franciscan Sister? Call or text Sister Julie Ann at 920-323-9632 or click here for possible discernment options: FSCC_Fall Retreat Banner_2018_8.5x11_ENG