Howdy! I would like to introduce you to Sister Christina Marie Neumann. She is a Franciscan sister from Grand Forks, North Dakota who serves at St. Anne's Guest Home and is an active blogger at Our Franciscan Fiat. She has written a guest post below about what a day in her life looks like. I thought it fit perfectly with our discussion about discerning vocations on the most recent episode of the Forte Catholic podcast. Enjoy!
My alarm went off and my feet hit the floor. Time to get up! I had a busy morning ahead of me and wanted to get a jump start with my morning holy hour. Plus, I had a little work to do!
I must confess….some days, it is easier than others to get up when the alarm buzzes, but at other times, that SNOOZE button is way too accessible!
Grabbing my coat and putting it on, out the door I went into the brisk March air. In short order, I had greeted the nurse and the night staff at our assisted living facility, and was on my way into Chapel. After attending to a couple minor preparations (I serve as sacristan), I settled into a pew for my cherished time of prayer. An acquaintance recently commented that I get to “go on a date every time I go to adoration.” I have come to treasure these quiet visits with my Beloved.
As a religious sister, I am privileged to live out in a special way a verse from the Song of Songs (6:3): “I am my beloved’s and he is mine.” Our directives ask us to set aside an hour each day for these special “dates,” or visits with our Beloved.
We are also privileged to have Jesus present with us through the Blessed Sacrament in our homes (convents). When I was planning the move to St. Anne’s, I was asked if I had a preference as to which room I would prefer. A big drawing card for me was proximity to the chapel. My room is just down the hall from Jesus!! That is amazing and wonderful! One thing I miss when I go home to visit my family is that closeness to Jesus’ physical presence; you might say I’m spoiled. ;)
After breakfast, I set up for daily Mass. I also had time for a little miscellaneous work and personal business. When Mass was over and I had put everything away, I hurried to the reception desk for brief receptionist duty before Bible Study, which I lead weekly for our residents. As part of this morning’s session, we also sang Christian songs and acted out a couple of gospel stories.
Shortly after this, I was due back at the reception desk. During this time of giving a half hour lunch break, I got a little embroidery done as well as computer work. After lunch, I had a number of “loose ends” to tie up, including counting money and changing soap in the dispenser.
One part of my apostolic service which I find to be most beautiful, is caring for our residents. I try to engage them, and make their days more enjoyable. We are all called to serve Jesus in each other. This afternoon, I had one of our residents assist me with sorting the money. It gave her something to do which she enjoys. At other times, we’ve even made cookies together.
In the midst of all this, we found out that someone was needed to collect laundry. There had been a misunderstanding and no one had made it in yet for the shift. I was assured that there would not be much to pick up since it had just been done. Boy, were they wrong! By the time I got done collecting the men’s laundry, my cart was heaped high with clothing! I did all I could do to keep it all in!
Soon now, I’ll have supper with my other Sisters here, after which we’ll head back into chapel to have Evening Prayer together. The evening, for me, will conclude with a few hours at the reception desk.
In writing this reflection, my mind went back to a folk-song we sang at this morning’s Bible Study. It's words proclaim: “I have decided to follow Jesus…no turning back.” In good times and bad, I am so grateful to Our Lord for calling me to this life. I have decided to follow Jesus, relying upon His grace each day.
For more from Sister Christina about her vocation, check out her post "Following the Lamb day by day."