From the President’s Desk

Motivated by our past; moving into the future

Sister Joyce Lehman • President, Sisters of the Precious Blood

The day dawned sunny and already unseasonably warm for early October. The Sisters were glad to see the fortunate weather as Sunday, October 1, 2023, was the big celebration. That day happened to be the birthday of our foundress, Maria Anna Brunner, but it also was the day chosen to commemorate with others the 100 years since our Congregation had moved to Dayton, Ohio, from Maria Stein.

It started with a 2 p.m. Mass of celebration held across the street from Salem Heights, our present retirement center, at Precious Blood parish church. Over 200 people joined the Sisters in praising and thanking God for all the gifts received and given during those 100 years. Father Jeff Kirch, provincial director of the U.S. Province, and other Missionaries of the Precious Blood were present. Lay collaborators from many of the organizations that our CPPS Sisters had either started or ministered in over the years joined us. Members of the Trotwood City Council came. The reception following the Mass was a veritable banquet of goodness resembling in some ways the eternal banquet in the Kingdom of heaven: food, laughter, joy, as people from all walks of life mixed and mingled and thanked God for God’s generous goodness.

It was also a humbling experience as participants stopped by tables where the Sisters sat and thanked them for their years of service and for the impact the mission of the Sisters of the Precious Blood has had on the city and elsewhere. For those 100 years, we rarely took the time to rejoice in the outcome of our service. When we had accomplished one thing, we just immediately went on to meet the next need before us. It is what women religious do regularly, always trying to anticipate where God’s Word should be preached, where the basic human needs of children, women and men must be met, where the joy of the Gospel might lift someone’s spirits.

Whether it is in Dayton, Maria Stein or New Riegel, Ohio; Chicago, Illinois; Phoenix, Arizona; Redlands, California; Guatemala or Chile, our Sisters are called to give their lives in service to others. Each unique personality brings with her many God-given gifts as well as the skills and talents achieved through living fully. As with any person who allows God to lead them, each Sister experiences loving and being loved by those she serves, and grows in her love of God and others through her experiences.

As for the celebration of our 100 years in Dayton, although there was an afterglow of a job well done when we were back home after the party, we affirmed that that feeling is not the reason we do what we do — because we know that what we do, we do not do alone. Others have always ministered alongside us, inspiring us and helping us. Being appreciated is nice, but our mission “to proclaim God’s love by being a life-giving, reconciling presence” is why the Sisters of the Precious Blood have existed, as of 2024, for 190 years. We hope to continue that mission in the years to come. God is good!

Comments are closed.