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  • Martha Rasche

Sisters Write, Share Life Stories

I spent Monday afternoons this past fall leading Life Stories classes for religious sisters in a nearby town. Three of the sisters in the class were in their 90s, and their childhood memories date to the late 1920s. I heard about childhood pets, household chores and moonshine stills hidden under some cliffs in southeastern Indiana.

I learned what and who influenced these women to pursue religious life.

I learned about their early days in the convent, which were much different than today in both daily habits and the habits they wore.

I learned about the changes they underwent — showing their hair in public for the first time in decades, for example — in 1968 as a result of Vatican II.

A couple of weeks before Christmas, the sisters read excerpts of their stories for others in their religious congregation. Sharing always is an important part of the Life Stories process, and it seemed appropriate for these women to share with the larger group of women with whom they already form a community.

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