October 2014 Partner Spotlight: Jan Ferguson

Posted on: October 13, 2014 12:00 pm
Tags: Spotlight,

Jan Ferguson with the late Sr. Mary Loretto Wilkins.

The Sisters of Notre Dame are missioned to proclaim God’s goodness and provident care, but we do not do it alone! Thousands of individuals and organizations dedicate their prayers, their time, and various resources to share in carrying out Jesus’ mission near and far. Each month we pass the mic to one or more of our partners and shine the spotlight on their relationship with the Sisters of Notre Dame.

October 2014 Partner Spotlight: Jan Ferguson (Ft. Wright, KY)

Jan Ferguson, long-time friend, volunteer, and Associate, has deepened her relationship with the Sisters of Notre Dame, and vice-versa, through years of shared service and prayers. Over the last decade, Jan has regularly volunteered at the 4th of July Festival, visited with our retired sisters in Lourdes Hall, and served on portress duty. She reflected on her connection with the Covington Sisters of Notre Dame and shared that as our partnership has strengthened, so has her faith:

"I am a convert to the Catholic faith and celebrated my 25th anniversary this past Holy Saturday. 2014 has been a year of important dates. I celebrated my 10th anniversary of being an SND Associate. This past February marked the first anniversary of my dad's death.  Ten days after that, I lost my dear friend Sister Loretto Wilkins, whom I had been visiting weekly for over nine years. She was family. In April, my incredible grandson, Liam, celebrated his first birthday. Then in August, I moved my mom into St. Charles Community because of worsening dementia. A year of ups and downs. 

You might ask why I am sharing these seemingly random events with you. All are infused with the charism of the Sisters of Notre Dame--God's goodness and provident care. I do not know what I would do without the support and prayers of my beloved SND community. They celebrate my joy, and comfort me in times of hardship. Even more importantly, they challenge me to live my faith every day in the ordinary daily routines.

I began my Catholic faith journey under the guidance of Sister Bonita Schack when she was the Director of Religious Education at St. Agnes. After much hand-holding and about a million questions, I was ready for Holy Week. Sister invited us to St. Joseph Heights for our last evening meeting. I remember walking into the chapel that night and Sister Bonita standing up front. She opened her arms and said, "Welcome to my home." For 25 years the provincial house has been my home. I have attended retreats here, and been on the retreat team. I have eaten countless Sunday meals before either going on portress duty, or spending time with Sister Loretto and the others in Lourdes Hall. I come and sit in the garden when I need to think. I always find comfort sitting in the chapel, and often have had a shoulder to cry on when my world seemed to be falling apart. Advent and Lenten programs continue to challenge me to grow as I follow the ever-changing path of my spiritual journey. When I went to Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago, I took a stone from the fountain out back. The sisters, and my friends and family prayed with it. I carried this rock across Spain and left it at the Cruz de Ferro--a tradition. I know these prayers carried me through all the difficulties I encountered. 

I could share many more memories of my journey with the Sisters of Notre Dame, but what I want people to see is how important these wonderful women are to me. Whether in something ordinary such as baking a cake and bringing it over to share with the sisters in Lourdes Hall, or something extraordinary, such as spending the day here with my daughter and her wedding party, getting ready for her evening wedding at St. Agnes. Everything I do is so much better because of the love of the sisters. You enrich my life in more ways than I could have ever imagined 25 years ago!"


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