For the 90-plus years of life you gave me on earth, Creator God, I thank you!
My life on earth began on January 2, 1926, the oldest of eight children—two brothers and five sisters, born of Harry and Olive Weber, farmers in Mt. Calvary, Wisconsin.
The farmland was beautiful and it was first explored by a pioneer priest. It was favored by you, Creator God, by a call to Mother Caroline of the Notre Dame Sisters, to start a school. Also you providentially settled the first Capuchin priests in the United States on the Hill. Notre Dames and Capuchins sowed and cultivated the faith in the area.
Thank you, Creator God, for the 21 years I was able, with my dear family, to work on the farmland and to enjoy nature’s peace: sunshine, fog flowing through trees, winds blowing through grain and hay, storms blowing their energy.
Somehow – and I don’t know how it came – a call came to me to enter the convent. Maybe admiration for Aunt Martha, a School Sister of St. Francis (Sister Monica) had an influence. Can anyone ever explain how your voice calling, Creator God, and the Holy Spirit’s urging, were responded to by hundreds of girls and young women, from cities, farms, towns, and elsewhere, to come together in this community founded by Mother Alexia, Mother Alfons, and Sister Clara, with the purpose of serving you in ministry?
My ministry was as teacher and principal in big city schools: St. Benedict and St. Matthias in Chicago, and St. Lawrence in Milwaukee. After 21 years in education, I was called to do administration and management ministry. This was at St. Joseph Convent Motherhouse and at Holy Hill-Shrine of Mary and place of pilgrimage with the Carmelite Friars. After 35 years I retired to Campbellsport and then to Sacred Heart.
How can I ever be grateful enough for the support, companionship, and love I was given in community? Work and responsibilities were never easy, but as it says in the Psalm, “You made my feet swift as those of hinds, which enabled me to climb the rocks.” And with me was Wisdom guiding me, guarding me.
Besides what I have said, Creator God, I was given two very special gifts in community. First, we have had good leaders. We were given formation and guidance in developing our spiritual life: retreats, books, opportunities, model sisters, and mentors around us. And with all this, music was a part of it all.
The second gift was having a close sister companion, Sister Mary Louise Miller, who has lived with me and shared ministry with me for many years. Sister Mary Louise brought, not only to me but to the community around us, a knowledge and practice of liturgy into our everyday experience. What could be more valuable than living this way with the Church on the way to our final destination?
Sister Mary Louise was also a gifted and compassionate pastoral care person. Any need was responded to, including mine.
Creator God, I have always been mindful of the serious problems and of poverty in the world. I’ve tried to respond by prayer to this mystery, which I don’t understand.
I thank you, Creator God, for what has been given to me: indescribable love!