By Sister Lou Ann Roof
The first born (about 80 days early) to a young married couple, I weighed in at below two pounds. I’m here today, I believe, thanks to both the determined efforts and the strong faith in prayer of my mother and grandmother.
My mother was raised in a Precious Blood parish, so our family was nurtured with Precious Blood spirituality and deep devotion to the Blessed Mother.
As a child when we played school, I was always the teacher. I was delighted when, now a Sister, I was assigned to education ministry, serving as a teacher and later as principal. It was heartening when a principal who followed me told me there was a true Precious Blood spirit in the school and parish.
I spent my temporary vow years in Arizona among poor Mexican and Native American families. Like the people we served, we Sisters had only the bare necessities, and we were thousands of miles from home. But we worked, played and prayed together. This early experience of religious life, of community prayer, Precious Blood spirituality and nurturing community life has been a constant source of strength for me, especially in difficult times.
I love the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. What a gift to walk the faith journey with those who hunger! And what better way than from the perspective of the Precious Blood. It also is a blessing to bring the Eucharist to those who are hospitalized, some near the end of life and longing for the sacraments. One patient was hesitant when I offered her Communion. I prayed that I might be the face and voice of Jesus to her. She began to sob when I asked if she wanted to see a priest. When she said yes, I arranged for the priest’s visit; a few days later her obituary was in the paper. The Precious Blood is powerful!
My Precious Blood spirituality touches my family as well. Today I can be part of my siblings’ families, taking an active part in their practice of the faith and that of their children and grandchildren.
Now a Sister of the Precious Blood for 60 years, I ask daily that I may have the mind and heart of Jesus, may give of self as Jesus did — even to the shedding of blood.