Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletMay 27, 2022

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At the Motherhouse: An Essay by Sister Joan Sauro, CSJ

Sister Joan Sauro, CSJ, had the following essay, “At the Motherhouse,” published in the June 16, 2015 issue of Global Sisters Report, a project of the National Catholic Reporter.

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
all I have and call my own. 
- St. Ignatius of Loyola

She sits with two others in the dining room, all of them wearing bibs and waiting for lunch. Fifty years ago we all wore white plastic bibs, but these are long, wide and brown, designed to catch food that fails to reach their mouths. I hug all three and sit next to one who recognizes me. I haven’t seen her recently, but her eyes are still striking blue. We look at each other for what seems an eternity. Such love in the eyes. She shakes. I hold her hand. She tries to speak and “gobbledegook” tumbles out. She smiles apologetically.

”I know what you mean,” I say. “Is therapy helping you with words?” She nods.

“Do you remember when we stayed the weekend at your family home? I can still see it, on a small hill where two streets meet.”

“Main and Third,” she says, clear as day, her blue eyes shining, sure.

“Remember how we came in out of the storm? I took this picture of the rain on your parlor window. I brought it for you.”

She takes the picture which rings no bell in the chapel of her mind, a “bare ruined choir.” It seems better just to look with love at each other with no thoughts whatsoever. Except there is something on her mind. She has a plastic band around her wrist, standard fare along with bibs.

She points to the band with her name and room number, looks at me and says, “I taught college.”

Click HERE to continue reading the essay on the Global Sisters Report website!