Sister Jessica Taylor made profession of perpetual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience as a Sister of Providence on June 30 in a liturgy at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Seattle. Sister Jessica, born in Seattle, is the daughter of Glenn and JoAnn Taylor of Burien, Wash. She graduated from Highline High School in Burien in 1990, and then received bachelor’s degrees in psychology and special education at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash. She has worked as a special education teacher at Sylvester Middle School and at Highline High School, both in Burien. As a candidate to the Sisters of Providence, she served in ministry as a sign language teacher at La Salle High School in Yakima, Wash.
First considered religious life at age 18
As a novice, she has been a volunteer at the Women’s Drop In Center (now the Women’s Hearth) in Spokane and spent a year in the Philippines in ministry and returned to teaching at Sylvester Middle School for five years. Sister Jessica, who first truly thought about religious life at the age of 18, made first profession in August 2003 at the Provincial Chapter held in Spokane. She remembers packing her things, giving her car away and quitting her job. “It was a leap of faith,” she recalls. “It has been one step at a time, a gradual yes, but always a yes.”
Ceremony closes a circle
She viewed this perpetual vow ceremony, with its theme of “Here I am, Lord; I come to do Your will,” as coming full circle. General Superior Kathryn (Kitsy) Rutan, who came from the Providence International Centre in Montreal to accept her perpetual vows, was Sister Jessica’s vocation director. Father Thomas Belleque, who was her pastor at her entrance into the religious community, presided at this liturgy, as well.
“There is more to it than just me, so much meaning,” Sister Jessica explained. “The Holy Spirit is guiding it. All the people who were part of my beginning are part of my final intentions.” “This is the last step to becoming a full-fledged sister. What changes is everything and nothing.”
Sister Jessica likened this step to getting married, “making a life commitment. There are no fears and no anxiety because it has been so long that I have worked through all the issues. I am where I am called to be and where I want to be,” she said. “Whatever religious life holds for me, I am in it for the long haul.”