Sister Jean Verber
While growing up in Racine, Pat Verber was drawn to the kindness and dedication of the sisters at St. Edward’s. She appreciated their teaching and also enjoyed getting to know the sisters personally when she helped in church and after school. “I found them to be caring persons and felt drawn to become one of them,” S. Jean (Pat) reflected. “And eventually, I realized I’d love to teach.”
Teach she did for many years, working both with children and adults. Among the highlights of her ministry was serving as school principal and witnessing what participation and team work can do to the spirit and creativity of teachers. “It was empowerment at its best – taking leadership in developing programs and exciting learning opportunities for children,” she noted.
Also meaningful were the years she spent partnering with a welfare mother in striving to change the new welfare (W-2) system. They engaged women affected by the injustices of the system to tell their stories, not only to encourage systemic change but to educate others toward advocacy. “I learned a great deal from the women and a lot about myself in the process,” S. Jean said.
She would like people to know about the rich Racine Dominican tradition of study, prayer and service, “searching always for a clearer vision; wanting to collaborate with men and women dedicated to making the world a better place for all to be free to live and grow in goodness and beauty of one another and the healing Earth.”
For S. Jean being a sister has been an ongoing search for the most faithful way to live out the mission of truth and justice, “to listen to and study the signs of the times, not only in books but through the eyes and experiences of the poor and struggling people of the world, and more recently of Earth itself.”