“They were scared to come to the convent,” said Susie Williams about her daughters Lexi and Abby. “But after their first visit they were begging me to come back.”

Susie and her daughters aren’t Catholic and had no experience with Catholic sisters until Susie started cooking at Sacred Heart Convent, the Dominican Sisters’ motherhouse in Springfield, Ill. A few months later the girls’ father died. Susie thought enrolling her daughters in Dominican Faith Camp, a summer experience for young teens, might help them cope.

Only reluctantly did they come to camp in 2017, concerned by negative things they’d heard about Catholic sisters.

“This year they were on my case 24-7 until I got them registered,” their mom laughs. “And they really came out of their shells. It was amazing watching Lexi perform in the skit! I wondered if that was the same girl I brought in the door on Sunday afternoon.”

“Being able to have the sisters in my girls’ lives has been a big help,” Susie said. “They don’t talk much about their dad, but they know from the time they’ve spent here that there are adults other than me who care for them and about them. I like knowing that.”

Read more about Dominican Faith Camp and other ways to join the Springfield Dominican Sisters in their mission, ministry, and outreach.