Sister Arlene Einwalter

Sister Arlene EinwalterAt the young age of seven, Arlene knew that she wanted to be a sister, so it came as no surprise when she entered the Aspirancy at 13.  She had been taught by School Sisters of St. Francis in grade school and would now have them at St. Joseph Convent High School and Alverno College. “They were great teachers,” she said.

When she was a novice, Sister prayed that she would not have to go to a big city, as she was a small town Iowa girl. Her first appointment was to Chicago, but she loved it.

Sister Arlene describes her life as “20-20-20”: 20 years as a teacher in elementary and high school, 20 years in religious education and adult formation, and 20 years in counseling, mainly grief counseling. 

Though she lived alone for many of her 75 years of religious life, Sister Arlene always felt connected to the community. She has maintained close relationships with sisters and with others outside of the School Sisters of St. Francis congregation. However, her closest relationship is with her God. Sister is grateful for the opportunity to grow spiritually and appreciates the educational level that she has been allowed to achieve.

Traveling to foreign countries and sharing the culture of the people has been very enriching for Sister Arlene. She has had the privilege of teaching while visiting in several Latin American countries, and enjoyed living with the other sisters there.

Sister Arlene learns best by doing and is willing to do what she sees needs to be done.  She is not afraid to speak out and share her opinions with others and takes risks for the good of all. She has found that in community, someone is always good at what she is not, and she can provide what others need. That is the beauty of community. “I am grateful to God for all of my talents and experiences,” Sister said.