novitiate - Related Content

Sister Linda to discerners: 'I thank God every day for my vocation.'

Thursday, September 5th 2019 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA


After 50 years of ministry, FSPA celebrates Sister Linda's jubilee


Sister Linda Riesberg, celebrating her jubilee at Villa St. Joseph

In many classrooms across the United States, young children begin expanding their senses of belonging in the world. Their learning deepens as they listen to people who come to visit them, telling of the jobs they do on behalf of the world. Inevitably, their teachers ask, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” 

Many students change their ideas and their replies over time, but since the second grade, Sister Linda Riesberg has known who she wants to be — a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration. Now, 50 years later, after fulfilling this sense of self, she continues to grow into this choice each day. Recently, Show me a sign asked Sister Linda to contemplate her discernment story ...

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

Sister Linda:
I just knew since second grade, and never changed my mind. I don’t know what in particular affected that decision. I thank God every day for my vocation. 

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

Sister Linda:
I wanted to enter the convent after eighth grade, but my parents told me I had to attend two years of high school first. I didn’t like that answer and kept asking them to let me go. After my freshman year, they did: I finished my last three years of high school at St. Mary’s Academy in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, which was a school run by FSPA.  


Sister Linda, 1967

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

Sister Linda:
My biggest memories include being received into the novitiate, making promises on Holy Thursday (another step in the incorporation process during that time) and making final vows.  

Show me a sign:
What has been your favorite ministry and why?

Sister Linda:
I particularly enjoyed working with people who are developmentally challenged and have special needs. They taught me a lot about unconditional love, trust and being myself.

The celebration of our 2019 jubilarians continues as they share reflections of gratitude for religious life. Read them here!

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

Sister Cormarie celebrates, contemplates religious life in jubilee

Thursday, April 26th 2018 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

Called to religious life and FSPA 50, 60 and even 70 years ago, our 2018 jubilarians are celebrating and contemplating. Show Me a Sign asked Sister Cormarie Wernimont — who embodies 60 years of ministry in dietetics, pastoral care and finance — to reflect on her discernment journey.


During a gathering at St. Rose Convent, Sister Cormarie (right) is congratulated for her jubilee by Sister Esther Leis.

SMAS: How old were you when you first thought about becoming a sister?

Sister Cormarie: I was in the second grade. My teacher, Sister Charity, FSPA, asked if I was going to become a sister. I had not thought of it, but this idea remained in the back of my mind all through elementary and high school. I prayed about it for a long time, and gradually became aware that this was my calling.

SMAS: What attracted you to religious life?

Sister Cormarie: It was the belief that this is my calling.


Sister Cormarie Wernimont, 1958

SMAS: What do you recall about making your final vows and realizing that you were making a life commitment?

Sister Cormarie: I most remember my acceptance into the novitiate program, receiving a new name and the religious habit, and also my first vows. In my heart, my vows were final the first time I spoke them.

SMAS: What has been the most unexpected part of your life as an FSPA?

Sister Cormarie: My first mission was at Sacred Heart Hospital (now known as Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center) in Idaho Falls, Idaho. This was an area where, as a Catholic, I learned what it felt like to be a minority. There were many challenges. There were also blessings: we experienced the beauty of the mountains, rivers and Meadow Lake. Nothing ever tasted as good as pancakes cooked over an open fire up in the mountains.

SMAS: What wisdom do you share with a woman discerning religious life today?

Sister Cormarie: Pray. Try to be open to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Trust in God’s love and care.

*Do you know someone experiencing discernment of religious life? We invite you to share this link,, and join the conversation.

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