It’s 9 A.M. and Sr. Jean Clare Rohe is preparing to head over to the rectory at St. Anthony Parish in Baltimore where she volunteers three or four mornings each week. Her work consists primarily of answering door and phone but her service is a gift to both parishioners and to the parish staff. “Callers are happy to get a ‘voice’ on the phone and visitors appreciate a chance for a few words and a ‘God bless you’ when they come to the door,” she explained. “Many of the people knew our sisters in the past and are eager to express their gratitude.” The parish administrator also appreciates Jean’s help, especially on days when bulk mailings are being prepared.

Jean first met the Sisters of St. Francis when she started first grade at St. Joseph School in Fullerton, Maryland. Eventually both Jean and her sister, Sr. Ellen Patricia, entered the congregation as did four of their cousins: Srs. Alice Joseph, John Catherine, and Alice Catherine Rohe, and Doris Barlow. All are now deceased except for John Catherine. During most of her years in community, Jean ministered in education—initially in elementary school and then in secondary school. She particularly loved teaching science, especially biology.

When asked what she enjoyed doing when she wasn’t busy at the rectory, Jean explained that she begins each day with liturgy and prayers in her convent. She was also quick to acknowledge the sisters with whom she lives at St. Anthony’s. “The sisters are very considerate of my age,” she said. “I’m free to fill my hours as I desire—reading the newspaper, playing board games, chatting in the community room. She admitted that reading—especially fine print—and watching TV are somewhat limited now but then added, “except for our Ravens!”

This year is an especially significant one for Jean. In March she will celebrate her 95th birthday and 2013 is also her 75th jubilee year! Asked about her jubilee plans, Jean explained that she doesn’t have any so far except for the congregational celebration at the Glen. Stating that she had a “big time” for her 70th jubilee, she added, “My family tells me I had sufficient celebrating. And what can a 95 oldster do? Whatever unfolds is fine!”

When asked what advice she would give to a young woman considering religious life, Jean replied, “My days of opportunities for meeting young people is limited. I depend on my former students and my ‘pride and joy’—Srs. Helen Jacobson and Rose Monica Katusz.” Then she added, “I do my best to share the happiness I’ve enjoyed. It’s been a wonderful long life and continues to be!”

Somehow that sharing of a life of that has known and continues to know God’s gift of happiness seems better than any words of advice!