Catholic Sisters Week-Sister Spotlight-Sr. Jeanne Thurin
Sr. Jeanne Thurin was working in parish office administration when she felt God nudging her to consider a new ministry. Conversations around the future of religious life and think tanks with young adults set up by her house mate, Sr. Mary Ann Spangler, led Sr. Jeanne to discern whether she should move into young adult ministry. The answer to that question was yes, and she began a spiritual direction formation program last summer to facilitate that goal.
Now, in between her spiritual direction formation, Sr. Jeanne is employing many of the organizational and computer skills she used in her previous position to engage in young adult ministry. She’s currently part of a committee that’s planning a Young Adult Convocation to be held at the Villa in July, and she’s enjoying the creative aspects that it’s bringing out in her.
“It seemed like a very easy fit to slide over, and I knew I was going to be helping Sr. Mary Ann,” Sr. Jeanne said. “I think because I’m more intimately involved in this ministry now, creativity and ideas come up all the time and I’m having fun.”
As part of her spiritual direction formation program, she’s also working monthly with a directee and providing retreat opportunities for college students at local universities.
“One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that young adults have more creativity, energy, thoughtfulness, and eagerness to move into the future than I ever thought. I find it very stimulating and exciting to learn that about them, and it makes me personally very appreciative and thankful. We sisters respond to the signs of the times, and one of the signs of the times now, I think, is young adults and working with young adults—helping them on their spiritual journey. It seems like so many are seeking God, seeking spirituality. Some are lucky enough to find an avenue for it and others are struggling. So I’m hoping we can reach some of the ones who don’t readily have an avenue.”
An unexpected benefit from moving into young adult ministry is that working with them has taught Sr. Jeanne new things about herself as well.
“I’ve learned to appreciate the wisdom that I have from experience now—from multiple different experiences—and the wisdom of age. And it’s OK to share it. I’m also learning a lot about my own spiritual journey and where I need to grow based on trying to both learn how to companion people, but also how to companion myself and let myself be loved by God as I want others to be loved by God.”
Learn more about the upcoming Young Adult Convocation in the summer issue of the HM Voice, which will be published in May.
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