Response to Online Appeal Shows Value of Catholic Sisters to Social Wellbeing


Springfield, Ill.—The Springfield Dominicans’ first-ever online fundraising appeal is going viral and overwhelming the sisters with messages of gratitude. It also demonstrates that religious life is vital to the future of a spiritually grounded and peaceful world, the sisters’ vocation director says.

Was one of our Sisters your rock? Is the theme for the second of three annual appeals sent by our office of Mission Advancement. It is generating an active exchange on the sisters’ social media platforms. The post has reached more than 1,800 people. Dozens of people have shared delightful and inspiring stories about their relationships with our sisters.

“Sort of like that ‘mom’”

Sister M Paulette Joerger “was sort of like that ‘mom’ in my life when I had no one else,” wrote Amy Brandon, who had Sister Paulette in eighth grade at St. Francis Cabrini School in Springfield. “I am sure thankful that God crossed our paths so many years ago.” Sister M. Paulette is still influencing young people in her ministry at St. Malachy Parish and School in Rantoul, Ill.

“The response to the fundraising campaign is encouraging,” said Sister Teresa Marron, the Dominicans’ vocation director. “It says that the world still very much needs the gifts Catholic sisters have to share.”

One correspondent claimed “I am the person I am today because of the dedicated nuns and my Catholic education!! Today I am teaching kindergarten in a Catholic school and our 3 kids all attend Catholic schools,” wrote Debbie Gum from her home in Kissimmee, Florida.

A game of horse

Nita Manci provided a “short list” of four Springfield Dominican Sisters who’ve influenced her, including Sister Mary Phalan “Who taught me how to play basketball after school but I could never beat her in a game of Horse,” and Sister Diana Doyle who, she said, was “hard on me in high school” but always “in the way I needed.”

“Religious life is a vocation
that can’t be outsourced to robots.”
—Sister Teresa Marron, OP


Nepotism played a role in the responses, too. Several Facebook posters proudly proclaimed love and respect for their Dominican relatives. Marcia Carter’s aunt, Sister Gabriella Luebbers, “has always been the rock for me and all of our extended family,” she wrote. “So much fun and so loved!”

Sister Celestine Rondelli, Sister Marilyn Jean Runkel, and our now-deceased Sister Mary Carolyn Englum also received shout-outs from family members.

Nuns are people

A graduate of Rosary High School in Aurora, Ill., whose Facebook name is Bo Orielly wrote “Sister Mary Dominica was the music teacher then and I just loved her. She let me see that nuns are people like any other woman, who simply followed the call of God om their lives.”

“Technology and automation are changing the face of the global workforce, but religious life is clearly a vocation that can’t be outsourced to a robot,” Sisters Teresa jokes. “It is a life choice I value, that the world needs, and one I encourage other women and men to consider.”

How you can help

We can use your help! To learn how you can encourage girls and young women to consider becoming Catholic sisters, visit springfieldop.org/finding-your-way or contact Sister Teresa Marron at srteresa@spdom.org or 217-787-0481.

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