This is Sr Gianna.
She is a Nun.
A Nun is a sister who spends her life living in a monastery, praying for the world and all its needs. She is a contemplative, this means, she doesn’t do jobs like teaching or nursing, instead does different tasks within the monastery grounds while keeping a prayerful attitude, bringing to God all the needs of the people of the world.
Sr Gianna is a solemnly professed sister, this means she is in solemn vows. Solemn vows are like the vows mums and dads take when they get married. The vows say that Sr Gianna will stay faithful and true to her calling in her community of sisters.
Sr Gianna will not move from community to community but will stay in one monastery for the whole of her life, only leaving to go to the doctor’s or dentist or some other really important event, like when the Pope came to her country. Then the whole community went to a big stadium filled with people, to hear him speak.
When Sr Gianna was a little girl she wanted to have a big family. She was an only child and so wanted lots of brothers and sisters. God answered that desire, but not in the way she thought. Instead of giving her an earthly husband and children, He gave her Himself as her husband and lots and lots of sisters. Sr Gianna is now never lonely as she was when she was a child.
Each morning in the chapter room Sr Gianna’s Mother Abbess gives out the labour (the work that is to be done) that day. Each sister is asked to do something different. Someone will need to go and answer the door when people come to ask for prayers, another might be asked to clean or go to the laundry, someone else is sent to the garden, another might be asked to do church work like making vestments, Holy Communion dresses or altar linen.
Usually Sr Gianna is asked to go to the kitchen to make the midday meal. Sr Gianna is a great cook and enjoys cooking for the community. The sisters only eat one full meal a day so Sr Gianna needs to make it very nutritious for the sisters. It is quite a task to feed such a large community, Sr Gianna will need to make sure she makes enough. 4 or 5 potatoes might be enough for your family but Sr Gianna will need to slice up about 20 or 25. The most important part of the task is doing it with a loving heart and praying in her mind, and seeing Jesus between the pots and pans.
Sr Gianna loves to get up a midnight to pray the office of matins, she thinks and prays for all the people on the other side of the world who are beginning their new day. This helps to bring a lot of meaning to the office for her.
Sr Gianna loves to think of herself as the spouse of Jesus, being Jesus’ bride is very important to her. She thinks about this often as she adores her king and bridegroom in the Blessed Sacrament. She thinks of the precious little Host as a mirror. In Jesus she can see the love He has for His world and for her soul. This helps her to love her sisters and the world with the love of Christ.
So now you have met Sr Gianna. Next week we will meet another friend, Fr Michael, who is a diocesan Priest. Do you know how he lives his life? Until then remember, we are praying for you. Sr Anežka.