Her daughter’s “happiness overcomes mom’s concerns”
By JoAnn Taylor

They thought they wanted grandkids, but Sister Jessica's folks learned to love the fact that their daughter was destined to be a woman religious.

They thought they wanted grandkids, but Sister Jessica’s folks learned to love the fact that their daughter was destined to be a woman religious.

We have always been involved in the church, from teaching CCD to serving Mass, so it didn’t surprise us when our youngest daughter, Jessica, started talking about joining religious life.

It was during her high school years and we were happy that she wanted to be involved in the church, but we didn’t really want it to go that far. Our hope was that she would find a nice guy, get married, have kids and put this thought out of her head.

So we were determined to play the waiting game until this idea passed.

Years went by and it was time for her to go to college. While at school, she began again to talk about joining a religious community but, at least, she was convinced to go to college and get her degree. Many times she talked about her boyfriends. She even brought one or two of them home to meet the family, but in the end the relationships just didn’t last.

College youth group fueled her fire

Jessica seemed to get really involved with the youth group at college and became an integral part of the church group. This just fueled the fire burning within her to keep the religious experience alive.

After graduating from college, however, she returned to the family fold and started her career as a teacher in the local school district. In our heads, we kind of put it to rest, thinking she was over the idea of being in religious life.

This was kind of a relief to us, as we wanted many grandbabies to take care of us in our old age.

A couple more years passed and we moved out to Bonney Lake and joined St. Andrew’s Parish. Jessica decided to get really involved there with the youth group and her involvement fanned the flames. Once again she heard the call to join a religious community.

She researched many communities without much fanfare until she found the Sisters of Providence. When she asked the sisters to come to our house and talk with her about joining their community, we knew this was what she really wanted.

We had to accept her decision because we knew that all we really wanted for our daughter was for her to be happy.

JoAnn and Glenn Taylor are the parents of Jessica Taylor, SP. Sister Jessica made her first vows as a Sister of Providence in August 2003. She currently is serving in ministry in the Philippines. This article was first published in the Central Washington Catholic, March 2004.