Sunday, May 24, 2020

Little Sister Celebrates 70 Years of Religious Life

Must Read

Announcement: Rev. Mr. James Hoy, C.F.O.

We are grateful to Deacon Hoy for his dedication and service to the Church and to those that he has helped over the years.

Obituary for Fr. Hugh O’Neill

Fr. Hugh O’Neill, a priest of the Diocese of Gallup for 43 years, died on May 08, 2020 at Villa Guadalupe in Gallup NM.

Obituary for Fr. Alfred Tachias

Fr. Alfred Tachias, a priest of the Diocese of Gallup, died May 5, 2020 at his residence at Villa...
Suzanne Hammonshttp://dioceseofgallup.org
Suzanne Hammons is the editor of the Voice of the Southwest and the media coordinator for the Diocese of Gallup. A graduate of Benedictine College in Kansas, she joined the Diocesan staff in 2012.

One member of the Little Sisters of the Poor has recently proved that a religious vocation is indeed a life-long – or even “long-life” – calling.

Sr. Thomas, LSP, celebrated her 90th birthday in late September, and while that is a milestone in and of itself, she was also celebrating her 70th anniversary of religious life.

Sr. Thomas first joined the Little Sisters when she was 16 – two weeks shy of her 17th birthday. In 1944, she made her profession and started her full life with the congregation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The Little Sisters of the Poor are a group of professed religious women who dedicate their lives to the care of the elderly poor. They have homes all over the world and across the United States, headed in this country under three provinces: New York, Baltimore, and Chicago. Sr. Thomas has lived and worked in homes across all three, and has spent the last 14 years in the Gallup home.

Raised for most of her life in an orphanage in Detroit, Sr. Thomas says she first became familiar with the Little Sisters when children from the orphanage would sing at the home run by the congregation.

“We used to come and sing, and I knew I had no desire for married life,” Sr. Thomas recalls. “So I asked Mrs. Kirby – who was my chaperone – she was the chaperone at the orphanage and I was the first one to ask her to enter.”

The date was September 8th, 1941. Sr. Thomas knew she wanted to enter the Little Sisters and not some other congregation because she felt that college was not for her.

“I had no desire to teach, and I didn’t have that much education anyhow. I would have had to go to college, but it [wasn’t for me].”

After her final profession, Sr. Thomas dedicated herself to menial tasks with, as it is easy to imagine from speaking with her – humility and diligence. The greatest assignment she had was as a cook and helper in the kitchens of various homes, an assignment she would undertake for 20 years.

As a young child, Sr. Thomas’ mother died of pneumonia, and she and her seven siblings were left alone when her father suddenly abandoned them soon after . She never saw him again in her life. Raised in the orphanage, St. Vincent’s, until she entered the congregation, she at last found a family in the company of her fellow sisters. Even now, at 90, she takes the time to help launder her fellow sisters’ habits, set their tables, and even play a card game or two. But most important of all to her life, she notes, has been prayer.

“The only thing that is more important [than anything] is prayer life. If you keep up your prayers, God will always help you.”

Sr. Thomas is good to her word, as she spends much of her time in the home’s chapel. She tries to constantly pray for the souls in Purgatory, and mentions a personal devotion to the Infant of Prague.

At the conclusion of our interview, after she has had her picture taken, she smiles.

“I have to go now,” she says. “I have more rosaries to say.”

Comments

comments

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest News

Obituary for Fr. Hugh O’Neill

Fr. Hugh O’Neill, a priest of the Diocese of Gallup for 43 years, died on May 08, 2020 at Villa Guadalupe in Gallup NM.

Advertisement

Other recent stories:

Obituary for Fr. Alfred Tachias

Fr. Alfred Tachias, a priest of the Diocese of Gallup, died May 5, 2020 at his residence at Villa Guadalupe in Gallup, NM. Fr. Tachias...

Saints for Today: Catherine of Siena

When the Black Death plague pandemic swept Europe and Catherine’s community of Siena, she devoted her life to nursing, caring for the most seriously ill and those with cancer and leprosy.
audio

CC069: Keeping the Faith During a Pandemic

The Church calls us to face uncertain times with courage, perseverance, and hope

Mass at Home: Which Parishes in the Diocese are Live Streaming Services

While they can't replace the beauty and fullness of the Mass in person, these digital services are available as we await the end of the pandemic.

Advertisement

More Articles Like This

Comments

comments