Joining with Others

…to strengthen the impact of our mission

Sister Rose Hacker

“Hopefully, I’m a sheep more times than a goat,” says Sister Rose Hacker, reflecting on her favorite Scripture passage, Matthew 25:31-46. This passage continually challenges her to look beyond herself and do what she can to make a better world.

As Pastoral Minister and Director of Liturgy at Sacred Heart Parish in Boone, Iowa, Sister Rose has been a sign of Christ’s light and love for more than four years. Pastoral ministry has been a profound experience for her for 20 years and allows her to get to know the hopes and dreams of parishioners. “I have grown personally, spiritually and professionally because of my ministry in parishes,” Sister Rose said

Her greatest accomplishments happen when she helps to connect people with needs to those who can address them. An exciting example has been “Project Mississippi,” which began when Sister Rose received a letter from Sister Margaret Held, a nurse practitioner in Lexington, Mississippi. Sister Margaret described the needs of the children and adult patients and her ministry at a rural health clinic and hospital. The children had few books, school supplies and toiletries. About the time Sister Rose received the letter, a school staff member asked her about projects the students could learn about during Lent. “Project Mississippi” began!  The children collected books, toys, pencils, crayons, and notebooks and several parishioners and Sister Rose later delivered them to the clinic and met the staff.

Being a School Sister of St. Francis has provided Sister Rose with opportunities to deepen her spirituality and use her many gifts. She continually listens to the Holy Spirit, who has put her in places she needed to be. “One afternoon I was called to find a priest for a 12 year old boy who was dying about six miles from Boone. My pastor was gone. After calling surrounding parishes with no luck, I called our parish deacon to accompany me to see the boy. We arrived at the home about 10:30 p.m. with Viaticum. We prayed with the family and the boy died a short time later.”

As director of liturgy, Sister Rose helps to plan school Masses. She also serves as a hospitality minister, coordinates bringing the Eucharist to the homebound and nursing homes, works with adult faith formation and outreach programs, and serves on the RCIA team. She even updates the websites for the school and parish. 

As Sister Rose serves and mentors others, she is sure to invite people to share in the ministry and make use of their own gifts and talents. Indeed, Sister Rose is a sheep more times than a goat!

Adapted from an article by Sister Carol Ann Jaeger for the School Sisters of St. Francis Pastoral Ministry Network.