It is amazing what God can do through us when we say “Yes!”
On April 9, 2011, the Vocation Ministers of the Milwaukee Archdiocese held a Nun Run. The Nun Run isn’t about nuns running in a marathon, although that does exist. This was a daylong adventure, traveling to several different places where religious sisters and nuns live and/or work. Fr. James Lobacz drove myself and three other women discerning religious life to the six different places. School Sister of Notre Dame Barb Linke, and Daughters of Charity Sr. Mary Elizabeth Cullen, rode along with us as well and even were available to pick us up beforehand if we needed a ride to the event. So, there really was no excuse not to go! After praying about this, everything worked out and I took it that God wanted me to go!
The four of us women discerning God’s calling in our lives all seemed to have the same questions on our minds. What is God calling me to do with this life he has given me? How and what gifts am I to use to help build the kingdom of God? As we would go to each scheduled place and spend a certain amount of time there, we began to open up more and share our lives with each other. We were able to listen to the sisters explain what they do, why they do it and how they do it.
We went to St. Ann’s Center for Intergenerational Care, which was a really neat place. The center was well thought out and seemed very accessible to those of any abilities or faith, sort of like a home away from home. Fr. Jim bought us all Kettle Corn to share at the Farmer’s Market, which they hold on Saturdays.
Every place we visited the sisters were all very kind and accommodating. Like Franciscan Sr. Noel Le Claire, who upon our entering gave us each a big hug and later shared with us that her time working with the poor in Appalachia changed her life forever. We went to six different places, and the Dominican Sisters of the Perpetual Rosary was one that really stood out for me. The nuns were in full habit and were so joyful. They were a serious bunch, but had such a good sense of humor; it felt like the time went way too fast there, but we were able to still have a nice talk with them. One nun is going to be 100 years old soon!
Although they are cloistered, they are very much aware of what’s going on in the world and pray hard for all of us. Each nun has an hour in which they are to pray the rosary before the Blessed Sacrament. Before we left, I couldn’t help but ask if I could give them a hug. I am not sure how anyone else felt, but when I hugged those nuns, it felt like I was hugging Jesus. They sure are holy! They gave us some information on their order and they gave each of us a rosary!
We were able to go to Mass with Fr. Lobacz presiding at the chapel by St. Mary’s Hospital. This was the best part because we were able to pray together, sing together and receive Jesus in the Eucharist together as one family in Christ! I pray that God continues to bless Fr. Jim’s priesthood, because he really seems to love the church.
I had such a great day and was sad to see it come to an end. I am truly grateful for all the people that made this Nun Run possible, because it sure was a gift. It really helps to know that there are people out there like me trying to figure out what God is calling them to do. To have all those religious sisters, nuns and Fr. Lobacz available to us to ask anything and everything in our hearts, was a true gift as well. Thank you and God bless!