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

Life after full-time ministry: Serving others then and now comes from one’s baptismal call

We asked four Sisters who have recently retired
to reflect on the transition from full-time to part-time or volunteer ministry
and the gift this new chapter in life offers.

From what full-time ministry did you retire?

I had served at Holy Cross School in Bay Settlement as a teacher for the past 15 years, beginning in 2004.

My longest ministry was 16 years at St. John’s School in Little Chute, having taught first grade for 10 years, then designed and taught the first kindergarten program for six years.

I came to Holy Cross School to teach first grade and did so for three years. I then looped up to second grade for 12 years. At all levels the task has been to prepare students to be lifelong learners. I enjoyed that second grade had the added blessing of preparing young Catholics for the sacraments of First Reconciliation in the fall and First Eucharist in the spring.

What ministries are you involved in today?

Currently I am serving within the Community as receptionist on Mondays and Fridays of alternating weeks. I assist with the dishwasher duty when we have large gatherings or when I happen to join the Community for a meal. I’m on call to drive elder Sisters to appointments as needed. I teach first grade Faith Formation class on Wednesdays at Holy Cross Parish. In between I’m taking some time to figure out a “new normal” for my life and service, praying and reading more, serving on two committees, and being open to what unfolds through the Holy Spirit.

Why is it important for you to serve others?

I reach out to others in service because it is the baptismal call in life. The gift of time is meant to be shared. I share time, talent, and as able some of my treasure from my personal budget.

What has been the gift of retirement?

I’m asking myself the same question. As newly retired my days are just beginning to unfold.

Sister Carolyn Zahringer

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