This is a title of why men and women gathered at St. Paul's Cathedral in Pittsburgh on Sunday, September 17, 2017, to celebrate the noon Holy Mass with Religious Jubilarian of 25, 50, 60, 65, 70, 75 & 80 Anniversary of Profession and the celebrant, Bishop Zubik.
Our Silver Jubilarian, Sister Viannea, three other Sisters of our Community and Father Kirby attended the Holy Mass. Bishop Zubik asked us to think for a while how the Religious Sisters or Brothers influenced our life. Then he confessed his life-story and invited us to be faithfull the Way of following Jesus.
After Holy Mass there was a nice reception, a tasty meal, all kind callor cupcakes made by parents of blind children, opportunity to talk with different religious women, gifts, and certifications for Jubilarians.
Here are some answers of Sister Viannea to the Pittsburgh Catholic Newspaper:
Who/what was most influenced your decision to enter religious life?
When I was 7 years old, I was told by Nuns that I should become a Religious Sister. When I was 13, I taught every Religious Sister was a nurse. Sister Maria Jana, SDR, influenced me much even though she could not wear religious habit because of the Communist regime in Slovakia.
What is most important to you within the charism of your community or how do you see yourself living out your charism?
Our charism is to serve those who are most in need. Fulfilling this task means having open eyes, ears, hands and heart. Therefore, I try to help in our Community wherever I see the need: doing dishes, taking a Sister who is in a wheelchair for a walk, helping a Sister with something she needs, praying for a Sister or with her, etc.
Is there any story/experience in your life, vocation or ministry that stands out and that you want to share?
I am grateful to God that He showed me my vocation at the very early age of 7. One day we were with our parents in our church. While they were receiving a lesson from the priest, my sister and I were walking in the Sanctuary, sitting on the altar boys’ chairs, kneeling and praying. Some nuns saw us and said: “You will be nuns.” That became true. My sister and I became Religious Sisters.
How have your years been a Following of the Way of Jesus?
Our Foundress received from Jesus three special words: “Pray, suffer and be silent.” I have tried to live these words my whole life. The Cross is my life-companion. I united myself with our Divine Redeemer, Who brought salvation through the Cross, Death and Resurrection. I believe that my daily crosses bring salvation to many souls, as well as to myself.
What aspect of your religious life have you found most satisfying, rewording or surprising?
SATISFYING: Pouring out my soul to Jesus and Mary, His Mother in prayer and adoration
REWARDING: The satisfaction experienced by those who are entrusted to me
SURPRISING: I marvel at how Jesus often surprises me; it is worth relying on Him
Can you share any incident that stands out in your reaching the poor and vulnerable during your years of service? How did you meet Jesus?
When I worked in Mercy Brothers’ Hospital in Bratislava, SLOVAKIA, I volunteered, on Wednesdays, to take care of the homeless, especially their wounds. I learned many of theirs stories and thy became my friends. Once, as I walked through Main Square, one homeless person started to shout at me but I did not pay attention. Many people looked at me with question marks in their eyes. It was really embarrassing. Suddenly, one of my homeless friends came and calmed down the shouting person.
Is there any thing else you would like readers to know about you?
I thank God for my religious vocation. Despite the difficulties that Consecrated Life brings, I never regretted opting for this Way of following Jesus, our Divine Redeemer.