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Sisters share compassion through service

Religious sisters serve in a variety of capacities – as school teachers, religious education coordinators, pastoral ministers, administrators, nurses, psychotherapists – and the list goes on.

But no matter the duties, Servant of Mary Sister Lucille Beaulieu – who is celebrating 70 years as a religious sister – believes religious life is all about compassion.

In addition to teaching for nearly 30 years, including at schools in Omaha and Albion, she worked in parishes, sharing love and compassion with the sick, homebound, hospitalized and nursing home residents.

"I was able to bring the love of Jesus and Mary into their lives," Sister Lucille said, "giving them a listening ear and a compassionate heart."

For Sinsinawa Dominican Sister Elizabeth Sully, an Omaha native marking 60 years of religious life, that compassion also extends to refugees and caring for the environment.

"Our particular congregation has been involved in education, but in later years it’s expanded into issues of justice."

Sisters Lucille and Elizabeth are two of 64 religious sisters with ties to the Archdiocese of Omaha who are being honored in this edition of the Catholic Voice as they celebrate milestone anniversaries of 50, 60, 70 or more years of service to the church. Each either was born in the archdiocese, served here or both.

Sister Elizabeth has served as a campus minister at College of Saint Mary in Omaha, and in several states as a teacher, campus minister, hospice chaplain and artist, creating decorative stained glass she sells or gives away.

She also volunteers at the Global Village Project in Decatur, Ga., where she helps refugee girls, ages 11-17, with English and other subjects, as they prepare to enter American schools.

Life as a religious sister "… is the best thing I’ve ever done. It’s a full life," she said.

Sister Lucille said she is grateful for the sisters in her community, and for her varied assignments, including as a teacher, pastoral minister, director of religious education and minister to the homebound, in Gouvieux, France, the Omaha archdiocese and around the country.

Sister Lucille advises anyone considering the religious life to pray for the Lord’s guidance, consult with members of religious communities and live with them for a year to experience their way of life.

The joy of a religious vocation is the beauty of knowing Jesus and being with him, and knowing the love he has for everyone, she said.

And her final words of advice – "Go for it!"

Religious sisters and their anniversaries are available by clicking here. Unless otherwise stated, all assignment locations are in Omaha.

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