Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI

A special star in our autumn sky

A special star in our autumn sky
Companions on this journey come and go, leaving indelible marks on our lives

by Sister Elise Cholewinski

Some people come into a person’s life at just the right time, and they make a lasting impression on the person’s soul. Many years ago I was having a very difficult summer. I felt, as some people say, that I just didn’t have my act together. One evening a Sister walked into my room and we began to talk. That Sister listened to my pain and my questions. She shared a bit of her story with me, assuring me that I could get through the present crisis, that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. She reminded me that no Sister is perfect, that matter what her title or position, each Sister has a shadow side, has her personal issues to deal with. That Sister was Sister Regina Le Mere.

I did not know Sister Regina very well. She had been, among other things, a cook, a food supervisor, and an administrator of a community based residential facility. I was a teacher and a religious education coordinator. Our paths seldom crossed. We did not know each other on a professional basis, but that summer we became dear friends. From that time on Sister was so happy to see me, always greeted me with a warm smile, and continually asked me how life was going. Her gentle spirit made me feel so welcome in her presence.

Sister Regina died this year, a year in which she would have been honored for living 75 years as a Sister of St. Francis of the Holy Cross. November always begins with the Solemnity of All Saints and then All Souls Day, giving us these words from the Scriptures for one of those feasts: “The souls of the just are in the hand of God," "God tried them and found them worthy of himself," "In the time of their visitation they shall shine."

The sky above St. Francis Convent is a little more bright and a little more beautiful this year as we celebrate these special days of autumn.


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