For Sister Joyce Lehman, the best thing about being a Sister of the Precious Blood is moving toward God in the company of other women who share the same conviction.
“It strengthens me. It supports me. It challenges me at times,” Sister Joyce said on a live podcast with A Nuns Life Ministry. “We’re all on the God-quest together. We’re committed to each other and we’re committed beyond ourselves to serve God’s people.”
Sister Joyce, president of the congregation, and Precious Blood Sister Della Meyer joined A Nun’s Life hosts IHM Sisters Maxine Kollasch and Julie Vieira for the hour-long podcast on Aug. 28 at Salem Heights. The conversation covered vocation stories, discernment, and the charism of the Precious Blood Sisters. Questions from the online audience were also discussed. The podcast and a video feed were streamed online as listeners participated in a computer chat room facilitated by Precious Blood Sister Karen Elliott and Sylvania Franciscan Sister Julie Meyers.
In sharing her vocation story, Sister Della recalled that the Precious Blood Sisters who taught her, thought her older sibling, Marilyn, would make a good nun. Eventually, though, it was Della who went to then-Precious Blood High School, the former aspirancy of the community, and into the congregation. She found strength in the community, both as a postulant and later as a sister missioned in the western United States.
“What really kept me going were the other girls who were with me. That whole sense that we’re all in this together,” Sister Della said. “As life continued into my mission life I was blessed to live with wonderful Sisters. We had fun together. It’s a good community experience and it began in high school.”
The sisters fielded a question from a podcast listener who wanted to know the difference between a calling and a strong whim. Sister Joyce explained that whims don’t last very long, especially when they are tested, as they don’t have substance. Still, sometimes in a whim is the essence of a true calling, so it should be explored with a trusted friend or spiritual advisor, she continued.
In a discussion on discernment, Sister Joyce explained it is a continual process.
“My sense of discernment is always being alert to the word of God. Always being alert to God’s voice, whether it comes through other people, what I’m reading, the experiences of my life or the teachings of the church. Vocation isn’t just one thing. It’s an ongoing being with God and listening for what it is God wants.”
The conversation also touched upon the community’s charism of Eucharistic adoration and being a reconciling presence to others.
Founded by Sisters Maxine and Julie in 2006, A Nun’s Life Ministry uses technology and social media to encourage people to understand their life as a vocation by engaging questions about God, faith and religious life. The ministry is currently traveling the country podcasting from central houses of women religious communities.
The podcast will be archived at www.anunslife.org.
Story and photo by Dave Eck
‘We’re all on the God-quest together. We’re committed to each other and we’re committed beyond ourselves to serve God’s people.’
— Sister Joyce Lehman