Postulant Shari shares her call to be a Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity.
I grew up on the family farm near Keota, IA where my parents continue to reside. I have one older brother, Bob. I attended public schools for all my education. After high school, I attended Indian Hills Community College, and then transferred to Western Illinois University where I earned a Bachelor of Social Work Degree. My discernment journey did not begin until the first semester I was at WIU when I attended a retreat at the Nashville Dominicans with the WIU Newman Center. The retreat sounded interesting, so I signed up with no intention of joining a religious community and no idea of what to expect. However, God had different plans as this retreat changed my life forever. Since the retreat, the call to religious life was a roller coaster, but never went away. After a while I realized that it was a sign to me from God that religious life was what he wanted of me. I visited several communities, but none seemed to be a of Christian Charity which I found online. I spoke with Sr. Julie Ann, who indicated the first step was to attend a silent retreat. I chose not to make a decision immediately following the retreat, but the Holy Spirit was still nudging me to visit again, so I did. After the second visit, the Holy Spirit would not give up and asked me to apply. God made it clear what he wanted and I did not have a valid reason to say “no”.
Although I attended Mass weekly and on holy days growing up, I was not actively involved in church ministry until I became active in the Newman Center, except for carrying gifts as a family and helping with church suppers. I cannot express enough gratitude and appreciation for all the Newman Centers, which do make a difference. At the Newman Center, I became active as a lector, choir member, Eucharistic Minister, Newman Council Member, and Koinonia Retreat Team Member. After college, I moved to Moberly, MO where I worked as a Community Support Specialist. In Moberly, I was active at St. Pius X Catholic Church as a song leader and CRHP Retreat Team Member. I then moved to Davenport, IA where I worked for the State of Iowa. Upon moving to Davenport, I joined Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church where I was a choir member, lector, and CEW Retreat Team Member. Later on, I decided to transfer to St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Davenport, which was closer to where I resided. At St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, I was involved as a lector and choir member. I was a member of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Davenport, IA when God called me to enter the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity in Manitowoc, WI. I worked in the Social Work field for approximately 8 years prior to my arrival at the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity and Holy Family Convent. It is my joy to be here and to follow God’s call.
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