Wednesday, May 17, 2017

My First Time at Franciscan


This past weekend I flew to Pittsburgh and was looking forward to the long-awaited trip for several reasons:

  1. I was finally going to see the place where my younger sister (Peter's godmother) has been studying and working for the past four years, 
  2. it was only the third time I had EVER been away from my children overnight, 
  3. I would see one of my sisters, my parents, and my grandmother, and 
  4. my little sister was officially graduating with her Masters Degree!!!

Technically my sis completed all her degree requirements awhile ago, but she couldn't walk in commencement last year due to studying abroad and having to delay her comprehensive exams until August. She has steadily been working since, but I'm sure she is happy to officially receive her diploma - and I know was happy to witness it!

On Friday night I had the pleasure of staying at the house my sister currently rents, which allowed me to be with her on Saturday morning, help her get ready for the big day, and share some quality time before things got busy.

Once all of the present family was ready and gathered at my sister's house on Saturday, we went out for a pre-commencement brunch. I think it goes without saying, but being reunited with family for a joyous occasion is always a gift.

With my little sis, the most recent Master of Theology in the family

Before long it was time for the main event!

I can hardly begin to describe how utterly different this ceremony was from all the other university graduations I have attended, largely because my older sister went to a school of about 12,000 students and my little sis and I obtained our degrees from a certain Big 10 school with the measly number of 48,000 students.... Needless to say, when I graduated from college there was no earthly way for each student to walk across the stage and have their name read aloud. 

The commencement ceremony at Franciscan University of Steubenville was everything I always imagined the campus environment and community itself to be: small, dignified, brimming with Hope, and permeating Truth.

Not to mention, the printed list of candidates for graduation provided a bountiful supply of solid, Catholic names - just in case we need some fresh inspiration during this pregnancy! ;)

After graduation we spent the afternoon watching my sister rejoice and take photos with her friends, visiting the campus gift shop (where we got SO many awesome souvenirs), and taking family photos as we toured my sister's favorite spots on campus.

I had heard my sister describe many of these places over the years and even seen some of her own photos of them, but it was truly a gift to set eyes on them for myself knowing how much these places mean to her. 

Soon it was time for a congratulatory dinner, giving gifts, and firming up plans for the rest of the weekend before we would all be heading our separate ways. That night while my sister was off with friends (visiting another friend in the hospital, who unfortunately missed commencement for medical reasons) I was blessed to reunite with a dear Hoosier friend from my campus ministry involvement back in college! I had not seen my friend, Liz (who now works at Franciscan), for 4 years - so being able to catch up and share more about each of our journeys in person was such a delight.

It amazes me that this was only my first time visiting a city and school in which my sister has lived so much life these past 4 years. To finally be with her, celebrate with her, pray with her, and laugh with her in the dear place that has been her home all this time is an experience I absolutely cherish. 

I love you, seester! You have a brilliant mind and a beautiful soul. I'm so proud to be your sister (and grateful you are mine!). I cannot wait to see how the Lord continues working in your life.

"A good school provides a rounded education for the whole person. And a good Catholic school, over and above this, should help all its students to become saints."
-Pope Benedict XVI


  1. Congrats little sis!
    FUS is a great school to visit! Been there once and I hope one of my kids choose to go there :)

    1. It seems like a great community. I agree that I would be happy for a child to go there!