Meet Sister Cheryl
Ministry: Pastoral Associate at St. Augustine-by-the-Sea parish, Honolulu, Hawaii
“In my heart, I knew this was the community for me. I felt I was home. There was no second guessing.” And so Sister Cheryl began her journey in religious life.
Born in England, and raised in Jamaica, Sister Cheryl moved to Silver Spring, Md., met our sisters at a >Come and See weekend in Pittsburgh and continued to stay connected to the congregation through our sisters in Washington, D.C. with whom she met monthly for sharing and prayer.
The Franciscan way of life was in Sister Cheryl’s blood for a long time. “Franciscans have a rich history,” she says. “I was introduced to Francis by the friars at St. Camillus Catholic Church in Silver Spring where I worked with them for more than 15 years.” She says that her family of five sisters and three brothers were very supportive of her decision to enter the congregation. “They were excited for me and not surprised.” Her mom told her that when she was born and growing up, she knew I was born to something different. “It blew my socks off.”
In 2015 Sister Cheryl professed her final vows. “I feel very loved by my sisters,” she says. “They treat me as an equal.” Sister Cheryl lives and ministers in Honolulu, Hawaii where she is a pastoral associate at St. Augustine-by-the-Sea parish. She is also a member of the board of the St. Francis Health System in Hawaii.
As a newer member in the community, Sister Cheryl says she would encourage women discerning religious life spend time with the sisters at a Come and See weekend, or a Franciscans In Action program. “Be open to what your heart is telling you. Look at all God is showing you. You will know in your heart when you are “home.”
Reflecting on the future of religious life, Sister Cheryl says that historically our congregation responded to needs as they arose. “We need to discern where God is calling us and recognize that people are poor and marginalized on all levels,” she says. “We need to be creative people. We cannot let our fears keep us from being risk-takers.”