Franciscan Sister Lois Ann Gosch shares her own call to religious life and in the health care ministry.
My journey was begun with the life shared by my parents, John and Bernice Gosch, at my birth on September 25, 1946 in Appleton, Wisconsin. How could I have been so blessed with being a part of a family with loving parents and two loving sisters, Barb and Pat. My life was touched early on by the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity with my grade school education at St. Therese in Appleton. Yes, at that time there were 1,200 children in the school and 20-25 Sisters. The Sisters often invited us over to the convent to celebrate various occasions: how exciting it was to get in further than the front door. Learning to play the piano and organ were a part of my grade school and piano lessons were given right inside the front door of the Convent.
My First Communion was a drawing of my life to Jesus. Knowing that “I wanted to be a Sister,” I watched the prayerfulness, joy, and dedicated work of the Sisters. I was sure that I would go to the Convent after 8th grade and my work for Jesus would be as a homemaker. I watched Sister Mary Charles Hlinak serve her Sisters with cooking, cleaning, laundering, etc. and that was a lot of work with the large number of Sisters and the huge convent home. When we went over to the Convent to pick up something for one of the Sisters, Sister Mary Charles met us at the back door with the items to be delivered and a homemade cookie. With grade school completed, off to Holy Family Convent I went. Mom sewed the items I needed on the list of things to bring. Holy Family Academy was full of us young girls. I wonder how they ever were able to care for us.
More Steps in Following Call
After high school, postulancy and novitiate, the Spirit led me into nursing―never had I thought of that calling but as the years moved on at Alverno College in Milwaukee and then missioned to our health care facilities, the call of the Lord’s mercy and compassion was, and still is, the center of my life with Him. When I think of celebrating a golden jubilee in this year declared as a Jubilee of Mercy by Pope Francis, it is a time of awe and wonder.
Whether it was at Good Samaritan, Zanesville, Ohio; Holy Family Hospital, Manitowoc, Wisconsin; St. Paul’s Elder Services in Kaukauna, Wisconsin; or here at the Motherhouse in the Health Clinic and St. Rita’s Health Center; my heart has been full of joy to serve each with the challenge of healthy and balanced living, rehabilitation, aging , and dying.
I thank my God, family, Community, and friends for the love and support I have experienced throughout my life. As my life moves on, I pray that I may continue to be a Franciscan servant of the servants to “act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with my Lord.” (Micah 6:8)
Is God calling you to be a Franciscan Sister and serving in healing ministry? We would be happy to meet you where you are or we invite you to our next Discernment of Spirits Retreat in MN or WI? Click here.