The start of a life-changing project

Initially going into the SisterStory Project, I was not entirely sure what to expect. I had never met a Catholic sister before and I had no experience with the Catholic religion. The idea of meeting someone who was completely devoted to religion and had plenty of experience with it intimidated me. I am Christian, non-denominational, so I knew a little bit about the religion but not much.

When entering the first dinner with the Dominican sisters, I found that they were extremely welcoming and friendly. They did not care if you were Catholic, Christian, atheist, etc. They focused on who you were as a person and how you treated people you met in your day-to-day life.

As I spend each week with my sister getting to know her, I've realized that she is such an interesting person who has devoted her life to God. I really admire who she is and the life she’s chosen to live. She spent many years previously teaching -- and I can tell. Now that she works with the sisters in Aquinata Hall, she spends much of her time caring for others. Sister Donna Jean is someone who never loses her nurturing ability and caring heart. 

My thoughts and feelings towards the Catholic religion have not really changed since beginning this project. I am not a very religious individual, so learning the terms and religious vocabulary was a slight challenge, however, it was not impossible. I knew some terms, as a Christian, but not many. 

My sister, Sister Donna Jean Thelen, was very interested in my life and what I do on a daily basis. She wanted to really get to know me just as I wanted to know her. My sister slightly reminds me of my great, great grandmother in some of the things she says and the way she checks up on me. Every weekly meeting, she always asks me how my job is going, classes and family. She never forgets a thing that I said from the week before, which is something I really appreciate. 

About Victoria Flowers

Victoria Flowers is a sophomore at Aquinas College. She is pursuing a major in English and a double minor in communication and women’s studies. She loves to explore different coffee shops and watch all different types of movies. She is extremely close with her mom and younger brother. She spends most of her time working at a local movie theater and spending time with her coworkers. By participating in the Sister Story project, she is hoping to learn many things that will help her in her future career. In addition to that, she is looking forward to helping preserve the stories of many women within the Catholic Church. During the Spring of 2019 she was paired with Sister Donna Jean Thelen, OP; a Grand Rapids Dominican Sister.