Meet Sister Ramona

Why did you become a Sister?

I believe that religious life, as every vocation, is a calling.  Being a public school student from first through seventh grade and with no Catholic school available in the village, the parish had Sisters of various religious communities come for a two week summer school.  I looked forward to that.  Some of the Sisters would write during the year and kept in touch.  For 8th grade, I did attend Catholic school in the neighboring town.  It was my 8th grade teacher who was a Felician Sister who spoke to me about considering religious life.

Did you begin the process to become a Sister before or after high school? Can you talk more about the steps and the process to become a Sister?

I did attend high school through the aspirancy which is a program similar to living in a boarding school environment with other girls considering religious life while attending high school.  Currently, in the Felician Congregation the steps include candidacy, postulancy, novitiate, temporary profession of vows and perpetual profession.

Is your Sister name different than the name you were given at birth? How did you decide on your Sister name?

Yes, at the time when I was in the novitiate, names were given to us.

What religious community are you with? Why did you join this particular community?

We are the congregation of The Sisters of St. Felix of Cantalice, commonly known as the Felician Sisters.  Primarily because I became familiarized with them when I attended 8th grade where the Felician Sisters taught.

If you are comfortable, can you tell us where you grew up and a little about your family?

I am a Wisconsin born and bred, raised in the village of Neshkoro, WI where I attended church and school as a child.  I am the oldest of four siblings, all about 3-4 years apart.  My parents and step-father are deceased.  My father was killed when I was four years old and my mother later remarried.  Our father’s family ran the local foundry in Neshkoro.  My grandfather and other relatives were part of the neighboring farming community.  I am an aunt to 10 nieces and nephews.  To this day, we are still a close-knit family.

Can you tell us about the different ministry experiences you’ve had so far as a Sister?

I have been blessed to be educated for all of the ministries I have been asked to serve in.  Currently, since 2015, I serve on various Boards of Felician-sponsored ministries and on the Milwaukee Birthright Board.  I serve as a volunteer Eucharistic Minister at St. Francis Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and, as needed, at Villa St. Francis also in Milwaukee.

From the inception of Felician Services, Inc. in 1987, I served as a Board Member.  And then later as a liaison to Felician-sponsored ministries.

From 1983-2005, I served in administration at St. Francis Hospital; at Villa St. Francis, a senior assisted living facility, through its design, construction, opening and first years of operation; as also at the Child Development Center of St. Joseph.

Prior to involvement in health care ministry, I served from 1963 through 1980 in various roles in the field of education -- teaching in Catholic elementary schools in Chicago, Illinois and as a teacher and principal at Good Counsel High School in Chicago.  I was privileged to serve on various community and ministry Boards.

How long have you been with Felician Village?

Currently, I am on the Board of Felician Village after a few breaks in service.  Since 1987 when I first became a Board member for St. Mary’s Home, and later for Felician Village.

What do you do when you go on your retreat?

Retreat time for me means just that -- hopefully being able to retreat from the day-to-day activities/responsibilities to spend quiet time in nature in reflection and prayer.

How long have you been a Sister?

For 63 years, since I entered the postulancy in 1959.

We know you pray for us. For what can we pray for you?

That I might become the best version of the person God has called me to be.

Do you have any hobbies or other interests you enjoy?

I enjoy outdoor activities -- walking, swimming, boating, hiking, camping, trying new things.  Reading and learning and exploring new areas of knowledge are of real interest to me.

Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you or about being a Sister?

Nothing in particular.

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