At 101, Sr. Vivian continues to be a key contributor to the Benedictine Sisters of Chicago. She serves as the community archivist after decades teaching elementary students and serving as school librarian. She’s an avid online solitaire player, too!
She entered her community in 1932 and recently celebrated her 80th jubilee. Sr. Vivian taught Latin and other subjects for decades as an elementary teacher and served as a librarian for the secondary school students.
Sr. Vivian continues to pray and hope for the day when women are fully embraced at all levels of our Church. There are so many “gifted, knowledgeable, and talented” women, she notes, ready to provide needed leadership. She went on to note that women must be allowed to “serve in positions in the Church that are more meaningful.” Noting that women in the early church governed house churches and held positions of authority, this would, in essence, return to Catholicism’s roots and 1st century tradition.
While she doubts that the institutional Church will allow women priests in her lifetime, she encourages Catholics to “be hopeful.” She comments, too, that women are starting to crack the layer of decision-making, and while painstakingly slow at times, this is progress.
Ultimately, Sr. Vivian – and those in the pews – know the Church will be better off for fully including women’s “thinking and experience.” Male clergy would “profit,” she says, by the gifts, talents, and experiences women would bring to the Church. Women are often still seen as a threat, but this can change (and is changing!).
Sr. Vivian said it best: “Our country and Church wouldn’t be what it is without the work and sacrifice of women.”
Thank you, Sister, for your years of ministry and commitment to a life of service!