Sister Janet to discerners: 'Say yes. You won't be sorry.'

By Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA on Thursday, November 21st 2019

 

One reaction to her choosing religious life: "Oh, I thought Janet liked to have fun."

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Sister Janet Fischer

Sometimes it is a struggle to make a decision about what to do with your life. Sister Janet Fischer, now celebrating her 60th jubilee, shares that it took time to discover that the invitation from God to become a sister would help her to live into the fullness of who she is. Show me a sign recently caught up with Sister Janet who continues to volunteer in her local parish and civic communities and shares inspiration for religious life, then and now.   

Show me a sign:
How did you know that you wanted to be a religious sister?

Sister Janet:
I did not want to be a sister. I finally got tired of God pestering me and said “Yes.” Then I was at peace.

Show me a sign:
How did your family and friends react when you first told them of your desire to become a sister?  

Sister Janet:
I never told anyone of my thoughts about entering religious life until I said “Yes” to God. I went to St. Rose Convent shortly after. My mother was reassured and very happy after receiving a letter I wrote to her about becoming a sister. My dad said that the lifestyle was too hard and he didn’t want me to go. My mother shared that someone said to her with surprise “Oh, I thought Janet liked having fun.”

Show me a sign:
As you reflect on your jubilee, what facets of serving as an FSPA first come to mind?  

Sister Janet:
It’s interesting to ponder the thoughts I have as I reflect on each place I have ministered in. Three different stories come to mind. In my early days in community 60 years ago, not everyone had access to a car. I knew how to drive and was therefore chosen to be the convent chauffeur. I was responsible for transporting sisters where they needed to go. One of my favorite memories is taking a group berry picking: we had a great time!  

A funny experience I recall happened while I was the full-time cook for the sisters in Milford, Wisconsin. One day I made six donuts, one for each sister, as I didn’t want to have any leftovers  (they were really big). One sister never let me hear the end of that. I guess she wanted to have more than one.

One of my favorite community living experiences was in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. I was the baker there for a large group of sisters. I also visited members of the parish who were sick and taught religious education in the neighboring town.  

I am also thankful for my classmates: together we got through everything. It was a special bond of friendship, experiencing classes and learning about mission and ministry. We had fun!

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The FSPA community embraced Sister Janet during her 60th jubilee celebration.

Show me a sign:
Which of your ministries have meant the most to you?  

Sister Janet:
I liked all of my experiences. There was fun, excitement and challenge in all of it. 

Show me a sign:
What advice do you have for a woman discerning religious life today?  

Sister Janet:
If you’re tired of God pestering you say “Yes.” You won’t be sorry.


We hope that you have enjoyed experiencing the discernment and ministry stories of the 2019 FSPA jubilarians. To experience more of their reflections of religious life, visit fspa.org. And, stay tuned to Show me a sign for the 2020 jubilee celebration series beginning next summer!   

Are you discerning religious life? Walking with someone who is? We invite you to share this link, www.fspa.org/showmeasign, and join the conversation.

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