In Her Own Words:
Jubilarian Responses

Sister Joanetta Bruene
Jubilarian – 70 years

What is the key to your fidelity? What has kept you faithful to your vocation as a sister?

God’s constant loving care for me. Sometimes God speaks to me through others, through my mistakes, but mostly in time of prayer and reflection. Learning to see God in other persons is my great desire.

Was there anything in particular that helped you to “know” that religious life was for you?

As time progressed, I found that at the end of each day (even the ones with mistakes), I would say “Thank you, God, for showing me the way, this day,” while specifically mentioning some event of the day. God’s gifts are too numerous to count, but being aware is awesome.

Sister Clare Genevieve
Jubilarian – 75 years

What is the key to your fidelity? What has kept you faithful to your vocation as a sister?

The key to my fidelity, I believe, is my parents, first of all. They loved God and each other, and they loved their faith and parish. They had great respect for our priests and religion, and I loved them all too.

I had the Dominicans from Grand Rapids in the first three years in Oneway , Michigan. I also had the Dominicans from Adrian, Michigan, through eighth grade, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters from Monroe for three years in high school. Then I entered.

I think my deciding factor was the Christmas party our Sodality hosted for the sisters at Holy Name Parish in Detroit in 1929. I was one of the members chosen to serve the sisters that year, and the beauty, joy and fun I saw helped my decision to be fulfilled.

Our Sodality president told me that she was entering in January 1930, and I answered that I was going in June when school closed. Sodie Hays, later Sister Clarella, said,“Well if you are going, so am I.” We did, and we never regretted the decision.

Sister Marie Siena Chmara
Jubilarian 60 years

Would you ever believe that at 20 years of age, a senior about to graduate from college heard God’s invitation to join Him in vowed life as a Dominican? Not only did God invite this young woman who had never considered religious life as an option, but she responded with a deliberate “Yes, Lord, here I am.” I know, because that young woman was me.

I compare my vocation to that of St. Paul who was knocked from a horse and told by God to go and preach His word. Paul responded with no question; he knew that serving God was to be his life’s work. Although becoming a religious had never been an option for me, I surrendered to God’s invitation and was determined to enter at the next entrance date which was in two months. There were money problems I had to overcome, but I saw them all as challenges and, with God’s grace, I received the postulant’s veil in June 1945.

Accepting the directives I had been given by my religious superiors in the past 61 years has been my way of viewing each specific mission as a unique directive from God. For example, when I was sent for graduate study immediately after completing my novitiate, I knew it was He who had sent me. I received this as God’s way of telling me that I was to be a teacher. It wasn’t always easy, but I always knew that if God called me, He would give me the grace to meet the challenge. Knowing that God would always give me the grace I needed, fortified everything I attempted to do.