Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sr. Renee Wargel's Vocation Story

From early childhood, I dreamed about playing in a symphony orchestra, helping poor people and being like my Benedictine teachers at St. Philip School.

Upon graduating from St. Philip, I attended Academy Immaculate Conception, and then entered the Ferdinand community. My first missions were teaching music at Christ the King, St. Pius X, St. Paul, Tell City, while getting my Masters in Music at Butler University. I next taught music at Our Lady of Grace Academy and Latin School.

In 1971, I received an MA in Religious Studies at Mundelein College, Chicago, taught Religion at Immaculata HS, music at Carmel, and Guerin High Schools. Peace and Justice issues beckoned me to work during the summers with blind children in Lewistown, Pennsylvania. , Hispanic children in Los Angeles, California. and a Chicago food pantry. I was privileged to sing with the Apollo Chorus and Chicago Symphony.

In 1980, the community gave “The Sound of Music” at Beech Grove HS where I was English and Drama teacher.

In 1996, I became SSD at Hermitage Healthcare Center, caring for 52 terminally ill patients, plus music at St. Thomas Aquinas. I love working here. Our residents are treasures. Heaven will be better when they arrive. In 1997, I left St. Thomas to be Liturgy/Music coordinator at the monastery, and continued working at St. Paul Hermitage.

I am beginning my 34th year singing- first with Chicago Apollo Chorus, Liberty-Fremont Concert Choir, Evansville Philharmonic, and Indianapolis Symphonic Choir.

For Benedictine life, music, and opportunities to serve those in need, I thank God and my Benedictine Community.

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