September 2011: SISTER MICHAELINE HOFFMAN (entered eternal life on February 27, 2016)
“I was born on March 11, 1921, in Belleville, IL, to Frank and Mary (Ripp) Hoffman and was given the name Marcella,” explains Sister Michaeline Hoffman. “My father was an auto painter, my mother was in charge of a house and eight children, and my two fondest childhood memories were playing softball, along with other sports, and celebrating Christmas Eve at home with my family.” “We were poor but didn’t know it – we had everything we needed and were blessed in many ways,” she said.
An adventurous spirit
Throughout her life, Sister Michaeline wanted to try new things, and that’s exactly what she did. She encountered experiences, had fun along the way, and found the path to religious life. God didn’t announce this idea with any fanfare, nor can she recall any specific thing that lead to her decision. Bottom line: she took the step. “When I talked with my parents about my decision to become a Hospital Sister, my mother was concerned and said ‘you can’t keep a hat on even in winter, how can you keep a veil on your head?’ I soon learned that nothing is impossible with God,” Sister Michaeline said with a smile. She professed her First Vows on October 4, 1943.
Life of service
A graduate of St. John’s Hospital School of Nursing and post graduate studies in psychiatric nursing from the Illinois School of Psychiatric Nursing, Sister Michaeline first and foremost was a nurse. For nearly 30 years, she served her religious community in various sponsored hospitals and in home nursing and readily admits to “loving every part of it.” “While there have been challenges, I’ve learned to give everything up to the Lord. He’s been with me through it all.”
Words of wisdom
“My one piece of advice I can share is this: So often we concentrate too much on ourselves. As humans, we want to be in control. But when we let go and just let God be within us, there is peace. It’s in that quiet that God speaks.”
Act of kindness
One of her activities has a far-reaching impact to many including prisoners, people in nursing homes, children, and patients in hospitals – she makes rosaries. From the thousands of colored beads, chains, medals, and crosses, she creates a beautiful symbol of hope. “With each bead, I pray that those who will one day hold the rosary will experience the loving spirit of God.”