Fear of evangelization

When I first came to St. Catherine University, I thought all Catholic sisters or nuns wore habits, were strict and try to force their religion onto others. These assumptions were made from watching television or movies that portrayed nuns as stuck-up women. These assumptions were totally wrong!

Most of all the sisters or nuns I have encountered proved to be the exact opposite of my expectations. When I first told my friends that my work-study assignment was to interview a sister, most of them said, "They are going to try to turn you into a nun!"

They were wrong because ever since I have met my sister, Jill Underdahl, a Sister of St. Joseph, we never discuss my religion. She never tries to persuade me into becoming a Catholic or nun. She is just  a regular person and nothing like what I had seen in movies. I was shocked but relieved that these assumptions were wrong. Jill is a very motivated woman. She's always involved with things on campus. She loves nature and the garden located on campus. She even invited me to come to the garden with her spiritual youth group, and I really learned about nature because of her. She brought me out of my comfort zone because I’m not a nature person but I actually had a good time at the garden, something I would have never seen myself doing.

I have learned a lot about myself ever since I met Jill. I have learned that I should not believe what I hear but trust what I know. I learned that I should educate myself on certain topics so that I can truly understand others. I’m so lucky to have a sister who cares about others before caring for herself, and I admire her for that. My sister doesn't wear a habit. She doesn't try to force me into her religion. And she’s one of the nicest people I have met. She is normal and not just a stereotype.     

About Jawana Benton-Johns

Jawana Benton-Johns is a freshman at St. Catherine University. She is majoring in fashion merchandising and minoring in business. In her spare time she likes to create beauty videos on YouTube. She loves working with new people and understanding their point of view. During the Fall of 2014 she was paired with Jill Underdahl, CSJ, M.A.; a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet.