Sister Jean is one of 600 Medical Mission Sisters and 80 Associates in 17 nations trying to be present to others in the spirit of Jesus the Healer.
Born in Philadelphia, Sister Jean attended Little Flower High School, and did office work before entering our Community in 1948. “I was baptized Genevieve and was always called Jean by my family. I believe the meaning of that name is, ‘God has been gracious to you’ – something I have never doubted through the years of my life.”
Sister Jean feels privileged to have served as secretary to our Foundress, Doctor Anna Dengel, in Rome. She spent ten years at Marymeade, in Mt. View, California, where she was in charge of the office. She also did secretarial work for our Vocation Coordinator in Philadelphia, and public relations work in St. Louis.
In 1972, after Sister Jean returned from Rome, she lived and worked in Philadelphia for nine years. She earned her Associates Degree in Applied Science – Mental Health and Social Services at the Community College of Philadelphia, where she tutored in the Learning Lab. She taught shorthand and typing at The Bridge Therapeutic Center, acted as an aide at the Philadelphia State Mental Hospital, and was our Vocation Coordinator for North America.
Sister Jean began five years of mission in Malawi, Africa, in 1982. She taught at Our Lady of Wisdom Commercial School, and was a member of our formation team in Malawi. When she returned to Philadelphia, she became a tutor in English as a Second Language, reading and math. She also did secretarial work in the Nursing Department of the University of Pennsylvania.
Looking back on sixty years of vowed life, Sister Jean shares, “Mission for me is listening to God’s word in the many ways it is spoken to me and responding to it with the help of His grace; it is love of God and neighbor; it is living in the presence of God, discovering the revelation He has for me in each new place, in the people and happenings in my life, and hopefully being some little expression of God’s presence in our world as I try to be of service to others.”
July 15, 2011