Sister Rita Marie McLean
My life in community ... has been the bedrock that has kept me rooted in the good times and the bad.
I was born in an Ontario mining town. My early faith depended on my mother, who regularly sent me to catechism. God also spoke to me in the landscape of rocks and lakes where I swam and in the skies lit by the Aurora Borealis.
God Writes Straight with Crooked Lines
When I was 13, I had back surgery which hospitalized me for six months. Our parish priest asked his sister to visit me. I'll never forget the day she walked into my room with holy books, candy and time to chat. Sister Mary Rita was principal of St. Basil's School, taught the Grade 8 class and came every week to visit.
How Could You?
After my father's death, my mother sent me to a boarding school run by the Sisters of St. Joseph. There, I began to reflect on my own life. After two years, I approached my mother with my decision to become a Sister. She was devastated!
To console her, I agreed to attend Teachers' College first. I was miserable. And who were my classmates? Six Sisters of St. Joseph sat down in front of me on the first day! I lasted one week, then phoned the convent to ask if I could still enter.
What Do You Ask, My Child
From the taking of my vows, I've never looked back. My life in community has been the bedrock that has kept me rooted. My ministries have brought me joy and variety: teaching, counseling, working in our retreat centre, planning liturgies and playing the organ. Music has always been important and it is exactly what is needed where I am now.
How true for me have been the words of Jeremiah: "My plans for you are peace and not disaster, says the Lord."