9 Things to be Thankful For
By Megan Simmermeyer, Communications co-op
According to S. Patricia Sabourin, “There’s just so much to be thankful for.” On Thanksgiving, it is a time to reflect on God’s blessings and offer thanks to our Creator. In previous weeks, we shared nine prayers and nine scriptures on the subject of thanksgiving, and now, from around the Motherhouse, a collection of 10 employees and Sisters share some of the things they are most thankful for this thanksgiving season.
Family and Friends
Of the Sisters and employees interviewed, eight said that they were thankful for their family and friends. S. Mary Fran Davisson is grateful to have “family, community, and friends who love and challenge [her] to grow.” Similarly, S. Fran Trampiets says, “I’ll always be grateful for my mom … [and] I’ve got some great friends in Dayton and a brother in Chicago.” These Sisters’ expressions of thankfulness for family and friends are echoed by Sisters Mary Barbara Philippart and Patricia Sabourin, as well as Sisters of Charity employees Mary Doherty, Robin Harcourt, Micki Trentman, and Rick Heis.
Opportunity allows us to explore the boundaries of who we are. S. Patricia Sabourin says, “I am thankful for the opportunity that was given to me by the Sisters of Charity to study midwifery and go to Africa.” And while S. Mary Fran Davisson has shared in S. Patricia’s experiences, she, too, is thankful for the opportunities that she has received throughout her years as part of the Community.
God and His Many Blessings
God is present in every aspect of our lives, and it seems only right to be thankful for Him and His many blessings. For S. Mary Fran Davisson’s part, she is thankful for “the many ways God’s presence is revealed to [her], especially in the color of autumn.” And S. Nancy Bramlage says, “I’m grateful for our merciful God, who forgives our faults and failings.” Similarly, S. Patricia Sabourin is thankful for God’s “almighty love for [herself] and everybody.”
Faith allows us to deepen our relationship with God, and trust that He will guide us. This thanksgiving season, S. Mary Barbara Philippart and employee Mary Doherty express their thankfulness for the gift of faith within their lives.
Having employment, especially around the holidays, often inspires thankfulness, but for many of the Sisters of Charity employees, their job is something more. Micki Trentman of the Spirituality Center says, “I’m grateful for the loving people I work with. It is such a wonderful thing to work here; it’s a joy to work in such a peaceful environment.” Micki’s enjoyment of her work atmosphere and co-workers is also shared by employees Robin Harcourt, Joe Modafari, and Rick Heis.
Life itself is cause for celebration and thanksgiving. S. Patricia Sabourin says, “I’m thankful for the gift of life and everything we take for granted.” Echoing S. Patricia, S. Mary Barbara Philippart expresses her own thankfulness for life and all it encompasses.
Sisters of Charity
The Sisters of Charity encompasses a great deal of things, including the Motherhouse, their various ministries, religious vocations, and the Sisters’ community. When asked to reflect on what she is most thankful for, S. Nancy Bramlage didn’t even know where to begin. “Today,” she says, standing in the Motherhouse, “I am thankful for a nice warm place to come into.” And she continues, saying, “I’m grateful for our Community and what we can do for others … [and Mount St. Joseph University, where] we can meet the needs of the young people of today and their education pursuit.” S. Mary Barbara Philippart is thankful for her vocation, for God’s call for her to be a Sister of Charity. And although she says she wasn’t grateful at first, S. Fran Trampiets says, “I have learned to be grateful for the Motherhouse and the wonderful Sisters of Charity.”
Temperamental as health can be, it is something to cherish. Employee Joe Modafari lists his health as one of the many things he is grateful for, and S. Fran Trampiets, despite recovering from a recent stroke, says she is thankful that it was a little one and that she is on the road to recovery.
Lastly, a comfortable life is one everyone can aspire to have. Sisters of Charity employee Joe Modafari says he is not a rich man, but he has enough to live a comfortable life, and for that, he is grateful.