Sister Christina (L) and Sister Sara Marie (R)

Today's NUNDAY story was submitted by blogging nun, Sister Christina M. Neumann, OSF!

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this time of year and watch the beauty of autumn turn into the gray tones of winter, I am reminded of my first experience of this “in the convent” when I was first visiting the Franciscan Sisters of Dillingen at the provincial house in Hankinson, North Dakota.

Sister Sara Marie, who would become my postulant directress, tried to make me feel at home. I had told her one of our family traditions for Thanksgiving morning was checking the thickness of the ice on nearby ponds to see if it was safe for skating. In Hankinson (at our provincial house), there is a little fish pond on the grounds. Sister Sara Marie had me go out there, and for fun, took a picture of me “checking the ice.”

Along with serving as postulant directress for some time, she has filled many other roles as well, including that of Office Manager and Treasurer for the Hankinson Province. She is very adept with the computer and is often called upon for needed aid in this department.

She also compiles a quarterly newsletter for St. Gerard’s (Nursing Home, Independent Living and Day Care Center), where she lives, fostering community for a few retired sisters there. This apostolate draws from her previous experience in newsletter writing for our Franciscan community as well as from her youth, as her parents were involved in nursing home work.

Sister Sara Marie also helps our sisters by driving to doctor’s appointments. Since Hankinson is a rural community, they often have to go a distance for medical attention.

Even with all these different directions in which she is pulled, Sister Sara Marie knows there is more to our life than what we see on the surface. She has taught me much about the depth and the beauty of our life as religious. When I was a postulant (just starting out), we met for ‘class,’ in which my appreciation and desire for religious life grew in a wonderful way. More recently, she has been a trusted guide, support and listener for me.

Some words of wisdom, which she shared with me at one point, help give direction and motivation to everything we do as religious sisters: “Do it for Jesus,” She said, “He’s the one we do it for.”

To read more from Sister Christina and her community, visit their blog: Our Franciscan Fiat

Photo: Sister Christina checks the thickness of the ice during her first Thanksgiving in the convent