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Sister Bernadine Pohl

The dedication and energy of the Racine Dominicans who taught Bernadine Pohl at Holy Trinity School in Fowler, Michigan, led her to consider joining the convent. Basic to this was the example of her parents, who instilled in her the Christian values of prayer, study, work and play in their family living.

She feared when her sister, Dorothy, announced she was going to the convent that her own dream was dashed, because surely both of them couldn’t leave home. Her two oldest sisters were already working, helping to support the family, and she thought she was needed to help on the family farm with her brothers. After completing her sophomore year of high school, however, she received her parents’ blessing to join the Dominicans. At her reception, she was given the name Sister Bernita, which she enjoyed until Vatican II.

Most of S. Bernadine’s 60+ years of ministry found her in Wisconsin and Michigan, teaching, nursing, working in parish ministry, hospital chaplaincy, home health hospice spiritual counseling, and volunteering in parishes. Now living at Siena Center, she continues to serve in various ways, mainly being present to the sisters at Kenosha Living Center, where her sister, S. Dorothy, is a resident. The sisters there appreciate gathering for prayer, receiving Communion and praying the Rosary. This is a graced moment for S. Bernadine and her sister, S. Mary Ann, as they note how reverently and proudly each sister takes her turn in leading a decade of the Rosary.

Being able to serve people of all ages at significant times in their lives has left S. Bernadine with a deep sense of awe and appreciation of our God who is all embracing. Being a member of the Racine Dominican community has led her to points in her life she could not have imagined. She is grateful for the support and encouragement she continues to receive. She has no regrets that she answered her call.