The keen observer may have spotted an anomaly on campus this past week: two women all in white with black veils and a contagious air of joy about them. These delightful visitors from Ann Arbor, Michigan were Sister Joseph Andrew and Sister Irenaeus Schluttenhofer of the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist. The visit was facilitated by a Loras alumnus who has a connection with the Ann Arbor Dominicans.
“The goal of the visit is to introduce some (students) on campus to the reality of happy religious sisters,” Fr. Dennis Miller said. “In our society, it is uncommon to have an interaction with holy, happy, committed nuns, and we wanted to show Loras (students) that it is possible to live that kind of life.”
During their two-day visit, the sisters made themselves available for spiritual direction and discussion. The students who took advantage of this opportunity reported positive interactions.
“(Sr. Joseph Andrew) is a very caring and genuine person. In our conversation, it was apparent that she wanted to see me in heaven one day,” said junior Ruth Berning. “I think one of the most resonating ideas she said to me was that we need to let God complete the human heart He created in us, then everything else falls into place.”
Apart from their one-on-one talks with students, Sr. Joseph Andrew also gave a talk entitled “Heroism and Holiness.”
“Heroes aren’t born,” Sr. Joseph Andrew quoted, “they are made.”
During the talk, the audience was challenged to consider their own call to heroic holiness. Pointing to the courage of Loras College’s namesake, Mathias Loras, and local hero and alumnus Fr. Aloysius Schmitt, Sr. Joseph Andrew called on Loras students to follow in their footsteps, seeking self-knowledge and discovering God’s will.
“Living lives of heroic holiness,” she said, “requires the virtue of courage. It requires hearts on fire and not afraid of this world. Fear is the Evil One’s ploy to keep us from being heroes; your heart was made for heroism.”
“The talk on Heroic Holiness presented a great challenge,” said junior Marcus Mills. “I too am called to be holy. I too am called to be a hero and I have the Communion of Saints and our Blessed Mother to help me along the way.”