A Message from Sister Joan

Good morning,
I am Sr Joan, like you my life is made up of many ingredients. I am a daughter of heavenly parents, a sister of 7 siblings, a mother, yes, a mother of two sons and one heavenly daughter. I am a grandmother and a religious sister. But, most importantly, I am like you, a beloved child of God, trying to find my way in the world using the gifts God has given me to serve others. I have been a nurse and a teacher, a hospital chaplain, a midwife of babies into this world and a midwife of souls being born into a heavenly dimension. I am a Spiritual Director who is privileged to accompany others in their journey and to witness how the Spirit moves through their lives. These are the ingredients of my life. So, how did I hear God calling me to religious life? This is a question I am often asked. One day in Adoration, I had a profound prayer experience. I felt God was stirring up my life, my life experiences, joys and sorrows: the places I needed healing and those places where healing had begun. I cried as if broken-hearted yet felt hope. However, I was confused as to what this experience meant and where God was calling me. Why was God bringing all these ingredients of my life before me now? I called my spiritual director and said, I really need to speak with you. We had a long conversation in which I said, God is stirring something up in me but he is not letting me know what or why.
My Spiritual Director eventually said, I think God is calling you to religious life. I laughed. (like the biblical Sarah when she heard messengers of God calling her at her age to a dramatic life change.) Who me? Yes, you. It has been 23 years since I joined the Congregation of the Sisters of St Joseph. My heart bares the sisterscharism that all may be one. A heart focused on Jesus, first, and then so cial justice because I feel JesusWord was about Love and Inclusivity and Justice for the marginalized.
I am Gods beloved, as are you.. Your combination of ingredients of your life may be different from mine. But, in the end, there are 1) the basics, faith: 2) the seasonings that bring spice to our life-our life experiences, sorrows and joy, challenges and graces; our relationships -worldly and spiritual. Then there is 3) the sustenance of our lives-prayer, worship, love, service. And 4) our lives are
poured out as a Eucharistic meal for others.
God has given me a new opportunity to serve, here at Our Lady of Holy Rosary Church in St Amant. In the brief time I have been here, I have met the most generous people, the servants of God, servant leaders, the hands and feet, eyes and ears of Jesus touching the lives of others, touching my life. I am happy to be here and desire to serve at your side, to learn from your generosity, to share in your joys
and challenges and to worship our brother Jesus and Creator God. I want to thank you for your open doors and open hearts. I want to thank the wise and wonderful Wendy Enloe for extending the invitation and to Fr Matt who said yes, come.
Please feel free to contact me if you need assistance in your ministry. I would be happy to help. You can contact me at Sr Joan Manuel jmanuel@csjoseph.org