Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sr. Mary Gilbert Schipp's Vocation Story

The Journey of my life began when I was born on Valentine’s Day in Ferdinand, Indiana to Gilbert and Laura Schipp. At my Baptism I received the name of Vera.

After graduation from high school, I entered the novitiate at Monastery Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand and began my Benedictine Journey. As a novice I received the name of my father and thus became known as Sister Mary Gilbert.

My Educational Journey began with work for my BS in Education, graduate work in business, and culminated in an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.

My Ministry Journey was as an elementary teacher, a secondary teacher, and business manager of Our Lady of Grace Academy and St. Paul Hermitage. From 1973-1986, I was the administrator of St. Paul Hermitage, and from 1986 to the present, I have served as the Treasurer of the Corporation.

Over the years I have asked myself: How can I use myself in service of my Benedictine community best? Hopefully, it was as teacher, as administrator, and treasurer. Hopefully, the "Listen, my daughter," of Benedict has permeated each of my journeys.

A daily meditation I use is:

I like to imagine a non-Christian teacher, administrator, or treasurer with a Christian teacher, administrator, or treasurer. Then take away all the sameness in both of them until both are stripped naked and all the likenesses are gone. All that should remain in the Christian teacher, administrator or treasurer are the values of Jesus and His gospel message. Then take these unstripped values and messages and touch a human life – who becomes my Christ?

Am I the Christian? Are you my Christ?

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