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 Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, WisconsinJanuary 12, 2007 Issue 

Sister pronounces final vows - two times

Sister returns to her community 40 years after leaving

Special Section:
Vocation Awareness Week
Only in the Print Edition ...
Articles found only in the special section of the Jan. 12, 2007 Compass print edition:

• Fr. Paul Demuth: We are baptized for service
    and called to share in the mission

• Sr. Laura Zelton: We all must hear the call
    to vocation

Compass story led Door County parish business
    administrator to change

• Rita Wessing: Diaconate often calls
    on two vocations

• Fr. Tom Long: Seminarians come from
    varied backgrounds

• Spiritual director helps strengthen others in calling

• Lay ministry continues to change the face
    of parishes

• A New Genesis community exploring many facets
    of gifts

• Forming Hispanic lay leaders for ministry
    delights teacher

• Dcn. Paul Grimm: Role of a deacon is first a sign,
    then an action

• Green Bay nurse assists people in Haiti
    and Tanzania

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Sr. Nancy Henley, daughter of Andrew (d. 2001) and Molly (d. 1998) Vollmer, long time residents of Green Bay, made her second final profession of vows in the Franciscan Community of the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother with celebrant Fr. Michael Ingold, on Dec. 3, at Franciscan Courts, Oshkosh.

Sr. Nancy's vocation journey was not the typical path followed by one desiring to be a Sister. She felt the call to enter religious life in 1954, while in nursing school at Oshkosh. She became a candidate in the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother at age 20, and followed the usual formation path of postulant, novice, and then professed Sister.

After completing her nursing education, she was employed in nursing at Mercy Hospital, Oshkosh, in successive nursing roles: supervisor, teacher, director of the school of nursing.

Pope John XXIII's call to "open the windows and let the fresh air in," at the time of Vatican II, affected Sr. Nancy profoundly. She left her Community in 1966 to search for God in other paths. She continued her career in nursing while trying to discover her true calling. After a number of years, she married Kenneth Henley and remained happily married until his death in 1994.

The resulting sense of loss led to a struggle with depression for three years. She returned to Green Bay in November, 1995, to care for her elderly parents, members of St. Joseph Parish. In January, 2001, six months before her father's death, she heard their pastor, Fr. Michael Ingold, preached a homily about Mary nudging Jesus at the Wedding of Cana, how one was to be open to the nudges of others in one's life.

Sr. Nancy pondered the nudges in her life. Suddenly, she felt a very strong inspiration to return to religious life, accompanied by a sense of peace and joy. After discernment with others, she knew her search was over, she had found her final calling.

On March 1, 2002, she re-entered the Community she had left in 1966. In the meantime, religious life had been updated and the formation program was more rigorous. The return journey was not easy but the peace and joy remained constant culminating in the happiest day of her life as she once again pronounced perpetual vows.

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