Sister Stories

Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother 14


"For the love of Christ urges us on."
--2 Cor 5:14


Read the reflections from these Sisters about how they were called to and experience religious life as a Sister of the Sorrowful Mother…
sr_gillian“Many different parts of our Franciscan heritage inspire me, but the one that speaks to me the most, is the simple Prayer of St. Francis…”Lord, make me an instrument….” In the past I simply mouthed those words; now I pray the prayer more consciously. I realize that in that prayer lies the fullness of the “Kingdom of God” to which I am called to contribute to make a present reality. Hence, to the measure that I am at peace is the same measure that I give to the world….A Franciscan way of living, therefore, calls me into right relationship with God, self, creation and others, and I cannot think of a better way to do this, than to be in right relationship with myself. It is a challenge, yet it is possible. My prayer is that as a Sister of the Sorrowful Mother I will continue to strive to live simply and consciously, with a deeper love and respect for others, so that my example may speak for itself.”
–Sr. Gillian Angela Marie Jerome


sr_monica“Franciscan Spirituality was fundamental for me to live my faith more joyfully, long before I entered the Congregation. During my novitiate, I had the grace to immerse myself in the places of Francis and Clare and to “absorb” their charism by the living testimony of their current spiritual children. The study of the Franciscan Sources and the Third Order Rule was very important to me to help to get closer to the heart and faith of Francis. His style of praying has also greatly impacted my way to pray. Through the study and testimony of Brothers and Sisters who follow in the footsteps of Francis and to reach Christ, I learned to love this spirituality even more and I desire to be guided by it throughout my consecrated life. My desire and commitment in my daily life is to be able to incarnate the Franciscan simplicity, joy, community and gratitude for all the gifts I received.”
–Sr. M. Monica Baneschi


sr_daniela“I have been attracted by the person of Francis since childhood; his ability to rejoice in everything, the joy of seeing God in the most humble of creatures; being trustful in his heart like a child who expects everything from his parents and knows that all his needs will be satisfied. All these aspects of the Franciscan Spirituality have accompanied me as a Sister of the Sorrowful Mother. In the last few years, Francis’ unceasing reference to the Mercy of God supported me very much. God does not disdain any of us and it is through our poverty that His grace and power shine. My continuous experience of God’s Mercy helps my heart to be more merciful to our Sisters and those close to me. All of this makes me think of Mary, and, in a particular way, of standing under the cross. In her moment of utter poverty and untold suffering she became a mother in the fullness of motherhood, welcoming in her heart all the sons and daughters who were entrusted to her by her dying Son.”
–Sr. Daniela Maria Alborghetti


sr_stefania“My vocation arose in Assisi, a place marked by Franciscan Spirituality which connected my experience with St. Francis. Growing in the charism of the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother, I experienced some important aspects of Franciscan Spirituality. The constant reference to conversion by St. Francis, the journey to be humble of heart and to ever more welcome God’s love arises from a special relationship with the Father. My journey to truth is guided by listening to the Word and receiving the Sacraments, daily Eucharist and Adoration. In this my first year of temporary profession I am ministering to the youth. One of the most important aspects that I have experienced in this ministry is the loving and simple welcome, sharing of meals and prayer. The youth are willing and helpful; doing whatever is needed in the house. The simple lifestyle and the Providential support of friends and benefactors is concrete testimony for the youth. Living in this place full of Franciscan Spirituality allows me to live it more intensely, for example, by participating in important celebrations and being a guide for youth when they visit the holy shrines.
–Sr. M. Stefania Sangalli


teresina“God was speaking very strongly in my head. Every evening my mother told stories of different people in the world who did not know Jesus…This was really the beginning of my vocation. I loved Jesus so much that I felt sorry that others did not know him. This desire was deepening more and more in my heart. Then I met the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother in Rome. They were very welcoming and announced Jesus by their simplicity, humility, hospitality.”
–Sister M. Teresina Marra



lucillle“I had the SSMs in school. In my little town of Villanueva, the Sisters were a quiet, yet powerful presence. One quality of the Sisters that was greatly appreciated was their respectful acceptance of who we were and of our culture.  I was attracted to their prayerful presence. Each morning I would sit in church and listen to them praying in their chapel, right off the sanctuary. As I saw them in the community among us and visiting the elderly, the sick, teaching us I grew more and more in my desire to BE LIKE THEM. I believe the deep, simple faith, and prayer at home, and the lives of the Sisters were what God used to call me to religious life.”
–Sister M. Lucille Flores


charleen“I met the SSM’s at Mother of Perpetual Help School in Milwaukee where I attended grade school. I was drawn into prayer through them, especially for the four years I sang in the children’s choir. My parents were religious people, and I learned service and prayer by things I saw them do. My Dad drove the Sisters when they needed a driver. My Mom often sent food to our neighbors when we had family gatherings so those not able to get out could share our celebration. I witnessed their prayer and goodness. I was also influenced by the day of adoration held monthly in the parish, specifically for the purpose of praying that more men and women would answer their call to ministry.”
–Sister M. Charleen Weiler


helen“Sr. Rosalie, my Mother’s sister, an SSM, was always welcoming at St. Michael’s Hospital in Stevens Point. Sr. Kiliana and Sr. Cornelia visited our house when I was in 5th grade. At that time, I believed to be a Sister was the “best” thing I could be. Mom and Dad lived their faith fully and loved me. Teachers in school encouraged me. The parish with its liturgies and sacraments supported me. My older sister, Sr. Mary Michel, who entered ahead of me, attracted me and led the way.”
–Sister M. Helen Malolepsy


sylvia“When I was confirmed in the 8th grade I received a sense of “service.” It developed during high school. I wanted to be a nurse, but also serve God in a special way. I entered nurses’ training, followed one year of liturgical celebrations, and with association with the Sisters my call became more clear…with the help of one Sister I was able to “let go” of nursing to enter the convent. My family was supportive—we were good practicing Catholics. My Mother had a great love of the Rosary. I entered on the Feast of St. Anne.”
–Sister M. Sylvia Egan


margaret mary“When in 8th grade a Sister asked who wanted to go to the Convent, my hand went up, much to my surprise and hers. But my hand stayed up and has gone up again as my vocation became more specific and at each crossroad I knew I loved Jesus in the Eucharist. And when he asked various things of me the love had to become action.The spirituality of my mother and father was foundational. The Sisters who taught us catechism were so awesome and spoke of how God was. The example of the Sisters…spoke to my heart—in great silence.”
–Sister Margaret Mary Troy