As we reminisce over the 30 plus years of our acquaintances with the Sisters of the Holy Family, similar words continue to surface with our friendship with the Sisters. Words like friendliness, inviting, welcoming, and empowering were our experiences that described the charism and attraction of each sister. It is their lived examples of faith, holiness and “random-acts of kindness” that gives us a model for our own spiritual ministries and growth.
Esther first met Sister Mary Helen Jathas in the early 70’s, when Sister taught faith formation at Holy Spirit Church, Fremont, and Esther worked in the CCD office. What caught Esther’s attention was Sister’s caring nature and friendliness with families and children. Her gentle persuasive personality is inviting and comforting. Yet when something is out of line, she is not afraid to speak directly. We admire her honesty.
Esther next met Sister John Marie Samaha at a motherhouse gathering of the Women’s Guild. Sister is always friendly, inviting and empowering. When she asks for help one cannot refuse, especially for the Soup- Bingo and when there is a shut-in that needs to be visited.
The “Hostess of Hospitality” award goes to Sister Christine Kaelin. She welcomes the stranger to her home. She guided Richard and Esther through the formation process to be associates and was a constant companion and escort when we are at the motherhouse, especially at dinners or just walking the grounds. She has a gentleness that is caring and concerned about our health and welfare. Her charism of writing letters and notes has brought us healing and the presence of Christ in our lives.
Sister Michaela O’Connor has a sparkling personality. Whether it was helping in her basement archives, in the Holy Spirit Share Christmas gifts for the Kmhmu community or participating in two of the entertainments for the Spectacular, Sister has an infectious joyful spirit that invites by virtue of her own excitement and enthusiasm in her involvement. We love to listen to Sister’s presentations of a wide variety of subjects, stories and historical memories.
We have been attracted to the wide variety of personalities of the Sisters of the Holy Family, because they have invited us to share our journeys of life and ministries and have affirmed our goodness. From sharing cyberspace with Sister Lucille Hintze and Sister Margaret Hakeem, to those we casually greet when we visit the motherhouse, to the quiet gentle nature and written notes we receive from Sister Eunice Malloy, we have been greatly blessed.