This month we’d like you to meet Sister Pauline Lorch, OSU. Sister Pauline lives in Chicago and most recently has been a mentor for four Asian Ursulines who lived here while studying. Of this ministry Sr. Pauline says, “This was both a challenge for me and a reward in that our community was living a multi-cultural reality. I’ve been greatly enriched from knowing and sharing with these Sisters.”
Sr. Pauline grew up in Missouri, and also spent four years living with her grandmother in Illinois. She began thinking about being a Sister in the fourth grade. One afternoon the Ursuline Sisters at her school invited anyone who wished to visit the convent after school. She found joy, peace, and a welcoming spirit during that visit which greatly impressed her. After completing high school, Sr. Pauline entered the Ursulines in Cyrstal City, Missouri. The qualities which attracted her were the genuine interest of the Sisters in their students, the concern that the Sisters showed for one another, and the joy evident in their life.
Most of Sr. Pauline’s ministry has been in school administration and in leadership within the Ursuline community. Reflecting on this ministry Sr. Pauline says, “I loved working with the school staffs. Even though we didn’t always agree on specifics, my experience was positive because it was obvious that everyone wanted to cooperate to provide the best possible education and faith environment for the young people. I was also fortunate to be of service to our Ursuline community over the years. I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to know my Sisters in a more intimate way.”
Sr. Pauline has this advice for someone thinking about a religious vocation: “I would tell them how rewarding this life is. I’d want them to know that the blessings far outnumber any difficulties which appear. The joy and support which the community brings through prayer together, discerning the meaning of the present and the future, reflecting on the past, and learning together how God invites us to live Gospel lives are all powerful graces of religious life. Religious life is not perfect nor always so obviously joy-filled. There are misunderstandings and sadness in our lives as in the lives of everyone, but these also bring us the challenge to grow in ways which make us stronger and more ready to be available to others in their struggles and sufferings.”