Discernment Poem: The Pearl by Franciscan Sister Paula Rae Rose

Sister JulieAnn Sheahan

June 09, 2024

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Carol Seidl spoke these words before sharing a poem by Sister Paula Rae Rose at a recent celebration of celebrating 50 years of Consecrated Life. We share her comments and the poem here.

On behalf of the Echoes of Unity, our group title, I wish to acknowledge and thank Sr. Maria Casetta, who was the Aspirant Directress, Sr. Mariella Erdmann who was our Postulant Directress, Sr. Judanne Stratman our Novitiate Directress and Sr. St. Thomas Wegmann who was our Temporary Professed Directress. They were our guiding lights in forming us as Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity.

Through all our experiences with being missioned throughout the United States and interacting with different cultures, we always reunited with our fellow Echoes in the summertime. Today we are all missioned at our Motherhouse. Who would have thought that would happen when we were sent out on mission for the first time in 1974.

Sr. Paula Rae, the 4th member of our group, (she was the blonde one, Sr. Theresa the red-head and Sr. Carolee and I the brunettes) but now we are all getting that beautiful silver look.)

Sr. Paula Rae left our group at a very young age. She was only with us for a short time but she left us with her gift of writing and her deep love for God.

Her poem “The Pearl” tells us that God is the one who chose us and possesses us. We do not possess Him. By Him possessing us, we come to love Him more deeply and to serve Him through our vowed life as a Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity.

Let us pray together “The Pearl” as we reflect on our life as a consecrated religious.

The Pearl

I have found the Pearl-

  the pearl of greatest price.

I pay the utmost-

  I give myself-


  my life, my actions, my will.

I give all,

  wrapped in an unconditional love

for the pearl is of greatest price.


I pay the price willingly

  and somehow there is even

a joy in giving ALL-

  for the pearl is of its worth,

the greatest price-

  and EVEN MORE.


I have found the Pearl

of greatest price-

Rather the Pearl has found me

and I have responded.


I pay the greatest price-

Yet I do not possess the Pearl.

It is the Pearl that possesses me-

And in possessing,

the price of ALL is returned to me

a hundred-fold.


I have been possessed by the Pearl-

the Pearl of greatest price-



-Sister Paula Rae Rose

Photo: [[File:Black lipped oyster with natural pearl, Robert Wan Pearl Museum.JPG|Black lipped oyster with natural pearl, Robert Wan Pearl Museum]]

Article Comments:

Jeanne Conant 06/10/2024 @ 4:43 pm

Profound wisdom from such a young person!!!


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