Dreams have played a prominent role in the life and vocation of Sr. Yvonne.
A dream set her on a path toward a vocation and, years later, the dream of a young boy fighting for his life encapsulated her ministry.
Sr. Yvonne had just graduated from a Clinical Pastoral Education program and started working. On her very first night, she was called to the bedside of a seven-year-old boy suffering from cancer. He had a dream and was so excited, the nurses could do nothing to calm him.
Sr. Yvonne finally steadied him enough to learn that he dreamed of a man in a garden who talked to him about baptism. He wondered what it meant. She explained that baptism involved learning and loving Jesus more and urged him to involve his parents in his decision.
The boy eventually lost his battle with cancer and, even though she could not learn if he was ever baptized, the story of his dream was prominent at his funeral.
Sr. Yvonne also credited two weeks spent recovering from an illness as instrumental to her vocation.
“I was in my grandparents’ house and they had a crucifix on the wall,” she explained. “For two weeks I stared at it and contemplated what it meant.
“Although you do not have to look for it, suffering can be part of growing in faith,” she said. “It is not so much what happens to you in life that matters, but how you respond to it.”
Sr. Yvonne eventually became vice president of Mission. She made the title a condition of accepting the position because she knew that she and the people who followed her in that role needed to be included in any high level of discussion if they were to ensure that the hospitals stay true to the mission of the Sisters.
Today she finds consolation in her morning and evening prayers. In the morning, she recites the Canticle of Zechariah, a man who listened to God in the birth of his son. And in the evening, she uses the Magnificat in which Mary opens herself to the will of Providence.
“It has been so important to me that I have been a chaplain, ministering to people like that boy in the hospital,” she explained.
Sr. Yvonne has been blessed in so many ways. She fondly recalled how her love of piano was fulfilled in one of her first assignments when she was asked to teach it in Yakima.
Today she is happy about her life at St. Joseph Residence. She has lived there ten years, and points out, with just a little mischief, that she and Pope Francis both celebrated their tenth anniversary this year.