Why Are These Women So Happy, Covington, USA
November 14, 2015
by Sr. Mary Suzanne Rose, Sister of Notre Dame
From the Diocese of Covington’s weekly newspaper, The Messenger.
“Why are these women so happy?” That’s the question that I wanted answered throughout my twelve years of school with the Sisters of Notre Dame. These women who had taught me since I was a little girl at St. Stephen’s School in Newport and then at Notre Dame Academy were really and truly happy people. I wanted what they had.
It wasn’t until I was in high school, however, that I thought of joining them. After the idea came to me, a friend and I started to go to Mass every day, and it became clearer and clearer that religious life was what I was being called to. I entered the convent a few months after I graduated from high school. I was very young and didn’t really know what I was giving up or getting into, but I was so busy with learning the life and attending school that it didn’t matter to me. As time went on, celebrating the Eucharist, the internalization of a deeper prayer life and my participation in ministry sustained my growing love relationship with God and others. I was happy.
Over the years, I have served as a junior high teacher and principal in many schools in Ohio, Northern Kentucky and Lexington. The happiness and excitement of the children, the dedication of the teachers, and the support and kindness of the parents have always been great joys to me. In addition, living in community with many different religious women, each with her own unique graces, has greatly enriched my life, and has enabled me to become who I am today.
Belonging to an international congregation has let me share in the lives of thousands of sisters from around the world. We all share the same charism: a deep experience of the goodness and provident care of God. Because of this, I know I am a part of something much bigger than myself, and my participation in national and international events strengthens my commitment to our global mission.
I haven’t regretted my choice or God’s. Who knew that such a joyful life would be the result of serving others, loving thousands of people over the years, and communicating daily with God in prayer? Each day is a new adventure for me, a new challenge, and a new source of joy. My life is full, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. So, “Why are the sisters so happy?” Come and see.
* Sr. Suzanne currently serves as principal of Prince of Peace Montessori School in Covington, KY.