I grew up in Dickeyville, Wis. in a family of 12. Being the second oldest, I was called on to help out at an early age. We lived across from the famous grotto and Holy Ghost Church and school. We rarely missed daily Mass and Thursday Holy Hour. We said the rosary every night right after supper and if our friends came by they were invited to pray with us.
Salvatorian sisters taught in our school and when I was 14 they asked me to consider becoming a sister. I visited the big convent in Milwaukee and decided it was not for me. But God had a different plan for me. In 1953 I entered the prep school and started my training. With God’s grace I became a sister and still am after 57 years of vowed life.
My ministry would be teaching and my first two years were at Mother of Good Counsel, a Salvatorian parish in Milwaukee. I taught primary grades for 30 years, the last seven in the Mississippi Delta. There I learned much about working and living in a different culture. At age 50 I was ready for a change. I went to work in a little mission church in the Appalachian area of Kentucky. My seven years there were very challenging but also very enriching. My next call was to coordinate care for our older sisters in assisted living and the nursing home. After 12 years of walking with our aging sisters, and planning funerals for more than 50 of them, I was ready for a little time off. Now I’m back to helping out in the 3K and 4K classes right where I started — at Mother of Good Counsel — and teaching religion class on Sunday.
As I look back over the years, I can only say thanks for all that I have been given. My life has been blessed with opportunities for education, chances to meet wonderful people and make lasting friends, and have all my needs met. I am definitely receiving the hundredfold God promised.
By Sr. Deanna Schroeder, SDS