'You will set the world on fire'

One of the last questions I asked Sister Tereska in our interview was to have her talk about her hopes for women religious and any advice she has for the next generation of sisters.

When she had seen this question on the list prior to the final interview, I could already tell that she really wanted to think deeply about her answer to this question, and I was very excited to hear what she had to say in response.

To sum up her response to the first part, she said, “My hope for women religious is that we can continue to be a real influence even though our numbers are fewer.”

When elaborating on the influence that they can have on the community, she said women religious are meant to be advocates for the homeless and poor. To me, this was very inspiring because the way she answered the question showed not only that women religious are to be advocates but also emphasized the community aspects of this job -- others can play a role in this. 

The piece of advice she offered to future Catholic sisters was probably the best way that we could have ended our interview. She quoted St. Catherine of Siena to lend advice: “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”

This quote is very impactful by itself, but Sister Tereska went on to say how she does not think she has set the world on fire but maybe she has set fires in some people’s hearts.

I found this to be an amazing way to think about it because it shows how positively impacting a few people is still better than impacting none at all. She also talked to the fact that she is still trying to become who God has meant her to be and how doing so is a lifelong process, which was very reassuring. It’s nice to remember that you don’t always have to have your life completely figured out just yet as long as you are working toward being your truest and best self. 

About Kaela Frailing

Kaela Frailing is a sophomore at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is currently majoring in Health Sciences for Pre-Physical Therapy and minoring in Spanish and Women’s Studies. After finishing her undergraduate degree, she hopes to continue on to Graduate school to receive her Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT), hoping to work either in the field of women’s health or with Collegiate/Professional athletes. Kaela currently is an intern for the Jane Hibbard Idema Women’s Studies Center at Aquinas and also participates in both the Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field teams. When she’s not working at the Center or out on a run, you can find her curled up reading with a nice hot cup of coffee. During the Spring of 2019 she was paired with Sister Tereska Wozniak, OP; a Grand Rapids Dominican Sister.