Sister Joan Kettler, SSND
Sister Joan shares her story.
I was attracted to this community, the School Sisters of Notre Dame through the influence of a couple of aunts that were in the community when we used to come to see them as children. Their love of teaching and their happiness touched my heart. This idea of becoming a Sister grew in me and I entered the community in 1941 and was professed in 1944. I ministered for 54 years in eleven different schools in Minnesota and North Dakota mostly in the primary grades which I loved. It was such a joy to see the children learn and achieve. They were always so eager.
One of the greatest joys of my religious life was being able to attend the Rome program of renewal in 1987. I was touched by walking the streets of many saints, seeing the Pope, visiting many churches and being at the center of Christianity. As part of our program we had time to discuss our newly revised constitution with our General Superior, Sister Mary Margaret and to gain insights about it. It came alive too when we got to go to Munich to visit the grave of our foundress, Mother Mary Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger.
A challenge for me was living in large communities with many different personalities. With time we got to know each other worked together well and ministered to the children under our care.
A pearl of wisdom that I practice in my life is “always be cheerful.” There are always difficulties in life but we can enjoy it so much more when we are cheerful.
Grant from SOAR!
We were greatly blessed with the gift from the SOAR! grant of a new whirlpool. It was a change to get used to it but now I find it easier to get into it and I find that it freshens me up in the morning and makes me ready to go. It puts a spirit in my step. There are great gadgets to help us in the pool as well as a perfect way to get out of it. I find it helps my circulation, I sleep better, and the temperature is just right. It has helped me deal with my Parkinson’s disease. I can walk better and my handwriting has come back.