Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sharon Paul speaks of her vocation with gratitude.
The Lord’s loving presence has been a thread weaving people, events and growing situations throughout my life.
I was born Sharon Rose on May 3, the beautiful month of the Blessed Mother, in Zanesville, Ohio, to loving, faith-filled parents: Virginia (Coyle) and Norbert Paul. I was fifth of six caring and supportive siblings: Pamela, Diane, Cynthia, Marilyn and Wayne.
I attended St. Nicholas Grade School and graduated from Bishop Rosecrans High School. In seventh grade my girlfriend and I talked about the possibility of becoming a Sister. In ninth grade she died and this was a painful loss for me. The activities in high school took full swing. Then, the Lord saw fit to send another special friend into my life and we shared our secret desire of religious life and corresponded in a secret code and signed F.S. (Future Sister) and I.G.W. (If God’s Will). I always admired teachers and I come from a strong religious background. I had eight cousins in our religious order and aunts or cousins from six other religious orders. From the above influences, a call from God, and a strong desire to help others, I joined the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
Franciscan Sister Story continues…
I’m grateful to our Franciscan Sisters who continued my spiritual and academic formation and gave me many opportunities to make mistakes and to grow as a person in varied ways. The Lord continued to weave the threads of life. I collaborated with many people on diocesan school boards, handicapped enrichment, county spelling bees, science fairs, five year plans, coaching, and had the responsibility of chairing committees to help withdraw our Sisters and hire replacements.
I also value our Community for allowing me to acquire a degree in biology and humanities, one in special education of the mentally retarded, a Masters in administration and supervision of teachers and a Masters in pastoral studies with a concentration in counseling and then chaplaincy in LA, OH, W.VA, and MD.
More about me…
I taught and or was principal for 37 years and had the privilege of working in many schools, parishes and health care facilities in OH, WI, and NE. I worked with slow learners, handicapped, gifted, CCD, grade school, and high school students. I worked with the Vietnamese, Native Americans, and the Spanish. I enjoy being with people of all age groups and varied religions.
I treasure my quiet also. I appreciate nature and enjoy God’s creation: in a woods, near a pond, river, lake, or stream. Each season has its material and spiritual significance to me. I enjoy reading, exchanging and sharing jokes, inspirational sayings, anecdotes and stories.
I also enjoy different types of music, writing, and sports of all kinds.
I value the opportunities for prayer both in community with our Sisters, parish, school, ecumenical gatherings, adoration, workshops, conventions, and I treasure retreats. For now, I must continue to be open, learn and be enriched so that I can continue to discern the Lord’s daily call to minister to God’s people and vice versa. As Sister Henrielda Cloutier, O.S.F., my first grade and college teacher, would say: “Let us accept the words of the Gospel to grow in our commitment to follow Christ as trusting pilgrims.”
After ten years of working in Pastoral Ministry with the faith-filled people of West Point, Nebraska the Lord beckoned me back to Cambridge, Ohio to work with Father Bob Borer and Father Paul Hrezo as pastoral minister of Christ Our Light Parish. My life has come almost full circle since I had served here as principal and teacher in the latter 70’s and 80’s. God is GOOD!
Note: If you are feeling that God may be weaving into your life a call to become a Franciscan Sister, we invite you to click here.