Catholic sisters are among the most industrious people we know, but they also understand the importance of R&R.
We checked in with four sisters to learn their summer highlights – including their favorite forms of leisure.
Sister Guadalupe Ramirez
San Antonio, Texas
Missionary Catechist of Divine Providence
Associate professor of pastoral theology
Best book of the summer: I read the stories of the Mexican martyrs who rebelled against the Mexican government who was persecuting the Catholic Church in the early 1900s. Very sad but also inspiring.
Best movie: “The War on the Planet of the Apes.” I usually don't watch animal movies. However, this one had a lot of life lessons in it. I recommend it.
Soundtrack of the summer: “Vienen Con Alegria” (They come with joy)
Favorite way to recharge: laugh myself silly with friends, have a shrimp dinner with friends, or eat cheetos and drink White Zinfandel wine
Favorite way to be lazy: stay in bed for a few extra hours and watch Westerns
Biggest accomplishment this summer: I celebrated my 50th anniversary of consecrated life with family, friends and co-workers. Had a beautiful liturgy and a reception with mariachi music. It was wonderful –I am so blessed.
Favorite trip: I visited Our Lady of Guadalupe at the Basilica in Mexico City, and I was overwhelmed with tears as I thanked her for such a rich life of faith and service as I prayed for all my loved ones. I am always inspired by the devotion and faith of all the pilgrims who come to see her and experience her motherly gaze as I do.
Sister Tanya Williams
St. Louis Park, Minn.
Dominican Sister of Sinsinawa
Employment services manager at Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners; work readiness instructor at Hennepin County Adult Corrections Facility
Best book of the summer: The Wisdom of Not Knowing: Discovering a Life of Wonder by Embracing Uncertainty by Estelle Frankel
Best movie: “The Zookeeper’s Wife”
Soundtrack of the summer: “Anthem” sung by Sarah Thomsen or Leonard Cohen (“There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in…”)
Favorite way to re-charge: Stand overlooking the Mississippi River and just listen to it
Favorite way to be lazy: veg out and watch mysteries on late-night television
Biggest accomplishment this summer: taking bass clarinet lessons (and disciplining myself to practice scales and arpeggios)
Favorite trip: spent a long weekend at Camp WeHaKee, a girls’ camp owned and sponsored by our Sinsinawa Dominican Congregation (since 1923), located on the shores of Hunter Lake near Winter, Wis. I joined a couple of other Sinsinawa Dominican sisters, the camp co-directors, camp counselors from the U.S. and different countries around the world, more than 100 campers (ages 7 to 17) and saw Dillon!
Dillon is a beautiful buckskin who has come to Camp WeHaKee for the past eight summers (along with about 15 others of a larger herd he is part of).
What made the trip especially wonderful this summer? I walked into the pasture and, without a sound from me, Dillon eventually looked up and walked across the field to me. We said hello again, after what is always a long year for me. This was a visual and a feeling I will never forget.
Sister Belinda Monahan
Benedictine Sister of Chicago
Office staff at St. Peter Catholic Church in Skokie, Ill.
Best book of the summer: Re-reading for the umpteenth time Wallace Stegner’s Crossing to Safety
Best movie: I think the only movie I’ve seen this summer has been “Bridget Jones’ Diary” whilst eating ice cream with a friend.
Soundtrack of the summer: “Sunday in the Park with George”
Favorite way to re-charge: Sitting with some of the sisters in the evenings with a glass of wine, enjoying each other’s company
Favorite way to be lazy: Working on a cross-stitch sampler my mother sent me. I have no plans for it when it's done, I just like the rhythm of cross-stitching.
Biggest accomplishment this summer: Driving to LaGuardia airport three times in one weekend – and living to tell the tale! Actually, I started a new job this July. It’s not a terribly taxing job, but it’s the first time I've started something this new in quite a while, so it feels like an accomplishment.
Favorite trip: I visited my parents for a weekend to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. No big party, just a family dinner and a relaxing weekend to mark this milestone!
Sister Mary Soher
San Rafael, Calif.
Director of Campus Ministry at Dominican University of California
Best book of the summer: Racial Justice and the Catholic Church by Bryan Massingale
Best movie: “The United Kingdom”
Soundtrack of the summer: “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”
Favorite way to re-charge: I walked the Golden Gate Bridge across and back! Great people watching, awesome engineering feat and a great experience of wind and water.
Favorite way to be lazy: sleeping in past 8 am
Biggest accomplishment this summer: updating the campus ministry web pages at Dominican University of California
Favorite trip: a road trip with two other Adrian Dominican Sisters from San Rafael, Calif., through Los Angeles to Henderson, N.V.