As I ponder the many years of ministry as a Sister of the Divine Savior, an abundance of blessings is realized. Serving as a Teacher, Vocation Minister, Director of Religious Education and now as Pastoral Care Minister, have been life giving experiences. It is in giving that I have experienced an overflowing abundance of God’s blessings. My commitment and connection to God as a vowed religious have enabled me to share His loving compassionate presence in the service of others. My life has been fruitful and life-giving.
There has been significant variety in my ministries. Each has enabled me to have a profound influence on the lives of others. A daily rhythm of prayer fuels the fire in my heart empowering me to communicate our Loving God’s presence and care. This enables me to effectively journey with individuals of all ages. There are times one gets a glimpse of this influence. Each year I receive a letter from a former student expressing gratitude for being her teacher which is now 46 years ago. She includes a check totaling a $1.00 for each year since I had the privilege of teaching her. Another student now a Medical Doctor shared reflection on the influence I had on his life while in second grade. These are little pearls that pop up in life helping me realize God touched lives through me.
Presently, I am engaged in Pastoral Ministry which enables me to be present to the sick, lonely, and dying parishioners bringing the Eucharist weekly. I also provide support to the families of deceased. What an awesome sacred experience this has been for them and for me! I have also organized bereavement enrichment sessions and am actively engaged in healing services. There is a strong desire in my heart to communicate the presence of Jesus through my compassion, care and deep love for others. All of us are deeply loved by God and through my spirit, I hope others will be touched by God’s deep love for them. Truly knowing God is a source of great joy, inner strength and deep peace.
Last November I received the Vatican II Award for my Service in the Church. My pastor nominated me for this special award in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. What a great honor! So many shared my joy, on this special evening, through their presence.
My life has been richly blessed and filled with much happiness. I have received far more than I have ever given. I am grateful to God, my family, my religious community and my parish community.
by Sr. Jenada Fanetti, SDS