Sister Bernadette Robinson
I thank God each day for my call to religious life.
I am a first generation Canadian, born of an Irish mother and an English father. No doubt the biggest single influence on my vocation was my mother, who had a deep reverence for her Sister teachers, the Sisters of St. Louis in Ireland.
In my Toronto school days, the Sisters of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary gave me a good academic background with sound spiritual training. At one point, I thought I was called to them. But my girlfriend went to St. Joseph's College School, and I met Sisters of St. Joseph at the Martyrs' Shrine where I did summer work in high school. I noticed a joy and simplicity in their manner. They put me at ease and I thought, "That's for me."
My initial ministry was teaching elementary school in Ontario and British Columbia with stints as a principal. However, I always wanted to teach high school. An opportunity arose when I was invited onto the staff of our Vancouver high school. There, I enjoyed eight years of teaching Grade 8 to Grade 12. During that time, I obtained my master's degree in religious education.
After 21 years in British Columbia, I returned to Ontario in 1986 to teach in Oshawa. I taught one year and then joined the staff of our retreat centre at the Motherhouse as the assistant director. Providing accommodation for people to spiritually recharge gave me great satisfaction. After 11 years at the centre, I took a sabbatical for rest and enrichment.
For a number of years now, I have served as the administrative assistant to the local leader at the Motherhouse. I thank God each day for my call to religious life and can say wholeheartedly, "It is good to be a Sister of St. Joseph."