Last September when the Milwaukee Brewers were chasing the National League Baseball Championship, Salvatorian Sister Marion Etzel told us she couldn’t listen to the games in real time in Rome. She tried her best to keep tabs on the home team, saying, “About the time the post-game show airs, we’re waking up to greet the new day. I always listen for good news!”
Now that she’s returning to her home province and hometown of Milwaukee, Sr. Marion looks forward to much more than just tuning into Brewers’ games come spring. Catching up with all the sisters is near the top of her list. That goes for relatives too, along with former neighbors, classmates, students and colleagues, and reconnecting with the SDS Community House staff and our sponsored institutions. Sr. Marion is eager to experience how things have changed since she left the U.S. in January 2013. Oh, and watching the evening news in English!
For all the good times to come, Sr. Marion’s departure from Rome is bittersweet. Many things come to mind that she knows she’ll miss from her six years serving on the SDS Generalate as general secretary and councilor.
“Coming to know a world view of our Sisters’ congregation and the Salvatorian Family has been a privilege,” Sr. Marion says, “and living with sisters from very different backgrounds than my own.”
She has also come to appreciate the many cultures that intersect in Rome. “The faces, the languages, the feeling that we are all humans together, and that most people come together to honor the past and to look for spirituality. I realize that I’m in a ‘pilgrimage city’.”
On a lighter note, who can blame her for saying she’ll miss the mild weather − well, for most of the year. She describes the rest of the year in one word: “Hot!” One fond sight she’ll hold in her memory is seeing all the trains and buses. “The public transportation system is wonderful and I love seeing all the tour buses that come into the big garage near the Vatican. Always a treat!”
As much as Sr. Marion joyfully anticipates coming home, she’s going to miss new friends she’s made over the last six years. As she slowly but surely integrates back into the life of her home province, we’ll ask her to share more about her ministry in Rome. For now, we say simply, “Welcome home!”