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S Celia Evers

 

Growing up in Little Chute, WI, Cecilia Evers often visited Racine. Three of her aunts were Racine Dominicans, Ss. Cornelia, Esther Joy and Maryjo Van Der Loop. Along with her two missionary uncles who were Norbertine priests, these aunts greatly influenced Cecilia. “We always had wonderful times when they came for home visits,” she recalls.

Following in her aunts’ footsteps, S. Celia entered the community, and 50 years later finds that “my vowed life has become more interesting and more challenging as the years pass. I still find myself energized by the mission and filled with love for God’s poor.”

S. Celia’s ministry has held many highlights, among them the years she spent in Africa, which fulfilled a childhood dream. “In Africa each day was meaningful and a bit of a mystery in that we were always learning and experiencing life in another culture.” She adds, “Daily trusting that God was very near and dear in a country plagued with sickness and poverty but so alive with beauty and faith.” Another meaningful time was when the pastor, principal and school board drove over a hundred miles to ask if S. Celia would consider coming to Little Chute. She accepted and enjoyed the unique experience of working with other Little Chute natives, Ss. Cyril Marie Van Asten and Marian Diedrick.

She would like people to know the Racine Dominicans may be a smaller community but is a very vibrant one. “Peace and justice have become our strong outreach in education, with the poor, in politics and in our prayer life.” To younger members of the community S. Celia encourages, “Hang in there! Life gets better as days turn into years of life-giving dedication.” And for the rough times she adds a few lyrics from a familiar song: “Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again.”