Sister Lois Zettler served at the Generalate three times. In 2001 she received her first taste of Rome when she assisted Sister Margaret McPhee, General Treasurer, for a few months. She returned in August 2002 to again assist Sister Margaret and to help with general work at the Generalate. After a year she was asked to serve as Secretary for the General council, which she did in addition to her work in finance until October 2007. Her final time in Rome was in December of 2011 to help with preparations for the 23rd General Chapter. She is currently missioned to Notre Dame Convent in Waterdown, Ontario.
Associate Patricia Stortz recently did a Q&A with Sister Lois about her experience of living and working at the Generalate.
What for you were the highlights of living in Rome at the Generalate?
The highlight of my time in Rome was receiving first-hand knowledge of the congregation, what was happening within the congregation, the ministries our Sisters were engaged in and how they were influencing people. Yes – the hands-on experience of internationality as vibrant and life-giving.
What else stands out for you? What were the gifts?
There were many gifts. First and foremost were the many opportunities to imbibe so much of the different cultures and languages and to be in vital contact with many Sisters both in the Generalate and outside of it. Then there were the experiences of ancient Rome, the Vatican and its gardens. Last, but not least, were the opportunities to become more familiar with Blessed Theresa’s life, ministry, leadership, sufferings and her complete gift of self in so many ways.
What were the challenges?
Of course, the language in and outside the Generalate. I would also add that learning to understand, live with and appreciate our Sisters from Asia, Europe and South America. The many cultures present in our congregation are both a great gift and a challenge.
I will be forever grateful that I had those three occasions of being at the heart of the congregation to learn of the wonderful and vibrant ministries in our Congregation. I was truly blessed.