MANITOWOC — Two members of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity are celebrating milestones in their religious lives this summer.
Sr. Pamela Catherine Peasel will be taking her perpetual vows on Aug. 2 during a private ceremony in St. Mary’s Chapel, located inside the Manitowoc motherhouse. On July 22, Sr. Maria The?re?se Robole was received into the novitiate during a ceremony in St. Mary’s Chapel.
Sr. Pamela Catherine Peasel
“When I entered this community, there was a desire to give my all to the Lord,” said Sr. Pamela Catherine, 34, who joined the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity in the summer of 2008. “And with my perpetual vows, it’s now come to be that. It’s finalized. I am giving everything over to him and allowing him to work through me in service of others. And I’m very excited about it.”
In addition to taking the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, Sr. Pamela Catherine will be receiving a ring, a rose and a San Damiano cross. Among those attending the ceremony will be Sr. Natalie Binverie, the community director for the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, and Bishop Emeritus Robert Banks.
Sr. Pamela Catherine was born in St. Louis, Mo., and while in elementary school she and her family moved to Grand Blanc, Mich., where their home parish became Church of the Holy Family. She went on to teach high school French and world history in Almont, Mich.
When asked about joining the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity at a somewhat older age (28) than others who arrive at the motherhouse for the first time, Sr. Pamela Catherine said: “Having had life experiences — having gone through college, having had a job, having had my own place for a few years — I think it was easier for me to say I’m not going to miss that part of my life as much because I’ve already experienced that,” she said. “I think if I would’ve entered at an earlier age, the decision might’ve been a little harder. I probably would’ve been wondering, ‘I never had my own place, my own car, I wonder what that would be like.’ But it’s personal and different for every person who comes in. It was just the right time for me.”
For the past three years, she has been teaching primarily language arts and religion to seventh- and eighth-graders in Bapchule, Ariz. She’s back in Manitowoc for the summer — part of her time was spent assisting at Camp Franciscan in mid-June — but she will be returning to the Southwest in mid-August.
She’s looking forward to going back to helping garden and care for the Arizona mission’s animals, which include dogs, goats, ducks and a tortoise, among other things.
As for her perpetual vows, she’s eager to serve in whatever ways are required of her in the years ahead.
“This whole journey has been a growing experience in and of itself,” Sr. Pamela Catherine said. “I could not imagine myself anywhere but within this community and giving my life over to Christ. There’s a great amount of inner joy that comes from that.”
Sr. Maria The?re?se Robole
Sr. Maria The?re?se, 20, was received into the novitiate on July 22.
At the ceremony, she received her white veil and her religious name (previously, she was known by her birth name, Sarah Robole). As for the name she received, Sr. Maria The?re?se said, “I thought and prayed about it a lot.”
Sr. Maria The?re?se, who was born in Oshkosh and moved to Rice Lake with her family in 2005, first felt a religious calling in the summer of 2011. When she first visited with the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity at their motherhouse in Manitowoc, she “right away felt like I was at home. All the sisters here were really welcoming and friendly.”
Interestingly, Sr. Maria The?re?se didn’t know until she arrived at the motherhouse that her third cousin, Sr. Barbara Belinski, is currently a member of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity.
Sr. Maria The?re?se attended a Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity retreat in February 2013 and applied for postulancy shortly thereafter. She moved to Manitowoc in August 2013 and lived in the dorms at Silver Lake College as a pre-postulant before officially being received into the postulancy in January 2014.
“My postulancy went really well,” said Sr. Maria The?re?se, a theology major at Silver Lake College who enjoys singing and playing piano. She’ll be taking one class per semester at Silver Lake College for the next two years. While in the novitiate program, Sr. Maria The?re?se will be overseen by Sr. Mariadele Jacobs, the directress of novices.
Overall, Sr. Maria The?re?se said she’s excited to be entering her next stage of religious life.
“It’s more contemplative and prayerful,” she said. “I’m looking forward to growing even more.”
With the addition of Sr. Maria The?re?se, the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity now have 286 members.