Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Natalie Binversie reflects on the life of Sister David Marie Long, a convert to Catholicism as a student nurse and responded to a call from God to consecrated life. To read the whole account, click here: Sister David Marie wake reflection
As a nursing student Esther’s supervisors sent Esther Long to Mass every Sunday to accompany patients. This practice led Esther, a Protestant, to enter the Catholic Church. Father Sweeney gave her instructions and on the feast of the Ascension, May 16, 1955, Esther became a member of the Catholic Church. One nursing classmate was her sponsor for her Baptism on that day. Another classmate was her Confirmation Sponsor a year later on May 27, 1956.
Esther received her Diploma in Nursing from Good Samaritan Hospital in Zanesville, Ohio in 1954. While she was at Good Samaritan Hospital she became acquainted with and worked with the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity. A young woman working the night shift with her was interested in entering the Convent in Manitowoc. She would talk to Esther about this desire and asked if she was also interested in being a Sister. While Esther was at Mass, praying and observing the Sisters, she thought this might be a good idea for her life. Without sharing with any of the Hospital Sisters, not even her family, she sent the following letter to Mother Edna dated January 25, 1956:
I am interested in entering the Convent in August. I am a convert to Catholicism this past May 1955, after receiving my religious instructions from the hospital chaplain, Father Sweeney.
I am a registered nurse, having graduated from Good Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing in August 1954, and have been employed here since that time. During my senior year in training I attended approximately six months of religion classes.
I have been thinking about entering the Convent for some time, as I want to devote my life to serving God.
God bless you,
Sincerely in Christ,
Miss Esther Long
In a note on the bottom of this letter Mother Edna stated that a personal reply was sent back to Esther. Mother Edna gave her some considerations about sacrifices of Religious Life. On March 9, 1956 Esther wrote the following letter:
Dear Mother Edna,
I am very happy to write and let you know of my final decision to come to the Holy Family Convent.
Please send me the papers necessary for my entrance that I may begin my preparation.
Sincerely in Christ,
Esther LongIs God calling you to join us for our March 3-5, 2017 ‘Seeing with the Eyes of St. Francis’ Discernment Retreat? Click here.