Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletSeptember 24, 2017

Sisters' Stories

Sister Clare Therese Pelkey, CSJ


I started my school life as a “publican.” In other words, I was a public-school student from Kindergarten through seventh grade. During those formative years, my religious training (in the Baltimore Catechism) took place originally after Sunday Mass in our parish church hall. By the time I was in sixth grade, religious instruction was a release-time program, and we were bussed from public school to the local parish where the pastor and the Sisters of St. Joseph taught us.

When I was in the seventh grade, the instructions were held on Saturday, and the teacher I had, Sister Adrian Francis, really had an impact on my life. She was soft-spoken and loving and taught eighth grade at one of the two Catholic Schools in the city. I briefly entertained the thought of becoming a sister.
 
During the summer, when my Dad told us we would be transferring to the Catholic school in the fall, I was agreeable since Sister Adrian taught eighth grade, and I looked forward to having her as my teacher. What a shock it was when I arrived the first day and discovered she’d been transferred, and the teacher who followed her was very strict with the class. The thought of a vocation faded!
 
Five years of schooling with the Sisters of St. Joseph passed, and one day in my senior year in high school, the same eighth-grade teacher asked me what I was going to do when I left school. I realized she thought I might have a religious vocation! After giving it a lot of thought and prayer, I chose to enter the Sisters of St. Joseph and have now been a member for over 55 years. Thank you, Sisters!