Meet the Sisters

Sister Patricia Rogan, SBS

PatriciaRoganIt all began before I was born- you could almost consider it a family tradition: I had a great aunt that was a Benedictine sister and two uncles were Benedictine priests. When I was growing up we used to pray the rosary as a family during October and/or May. In addition, I came to have a special thirst for the Eucharist, so much so that I would walk to church on my own to attend daily Mass. At some point I realized that I wanted to be a sister.

Someone gave or lent me a box of flyers with information on different religious communities or congregations. I was particularly interested in the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament because of their devotion to the Eucharist and the work that they did focusing on the needs of the African and Native American people in the US. I wrote for information and began working with one of the sisters in determining if I should enter that community. I remember reading a book she sent to me, and crying at some point, because the content of the book deeply touched me. I wrote for an application and entered soon afterward.

Having lived 19 years of my life in my home town, it was amazing to begin the journey of walking, not only with an awesome and adventurous God who led me to such places as Louisiana, Massachusetts, Arizona, New Mexico, Florida and several times to southeast PA, but also a caring, just, and passionate God who invited me, through my congregation and personal experience, to work in schools, religious education programs, churches, a library with a literacy program, and a preschool program.  God also led me to work in organizations that strive for peace and justice in our country and our world while working with the poor and homeless.

I have found it interesting to be given the title “sister”. The center of our life as SBS is the Eucharist – the word in Greek means thanksgiving. I am grateful to God for my family of origin, and for the privilege of being a sister in a wonderful extended family that is my community with which I continue to work, to journey, and to celebrate. I am grateful also for the many African and Native American brothers and sisters throughout the US that I have come to know and love.


Sister Jane Nesmith, SBS

PJane (246x300)During the latter part of my High School years I thought very seriously about religious life that rated third among the first choice of becoming an Airline Stewardess and a Teacher.

I was delighted to find, in the Vocations Directory, that there was an Order of Religious Sisters, nearby, that reached out to the needs of the underprivileged- an ever growing desire of my heart. After calling and writing, I soon found myself filling out the application forms. Despite parental resistance, I became a postulant with the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament in June of 1964, shortly after graduating from Cardinal Dougherty High School in Philadelphia, PA.

I was attracted to this particular Congregation because of their contemplative life of prayer and their pro-active ministry for justice. Even though I was only seventeen I was motivated by the spirit of the 1960’s to do whatever you can to make a difference or be a part of the problem by doing nothing. Since then, I have enjoyed teaching on all grade levels and facilitating pastoral ministries in schools and churches throughout the United States, Africa, the West Indies, and most recently, Jamaica.  God is good all the time, and all the time God is good!

Sister Anne Kelly, SBS

Anne KellyI was what one might call born Catholic. I attended and graduated from Catholic elementary school, high school and college. When I was in elementary school, there were many sisters and priests. Our pastor would visit the classroom and ask who wanted to be a sister and I would always raise my hand. I was taught by the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament in their boarding high school in Virginia. It was there that my vocation to the religious life became clearer. However, I was too young to enter the congregation upon graduation. I was only 16 years old. I always stayed active in my parish by being a lector, musician, CCD teacher and Home Visitor. During this period I graduated from Immaculata Junior College and then got employed by the Telephone Company in Washington, DC.

I kept in close contact with our sisters at Holy Redeemer in Washington. One day I was asked to help a visiting sister with her typing project. During a break, she asked me what was I doing with my life. At this point I was 26 years old. I gave her a brief history of my life up to this point. She asked if I thought any more about becoming a Sister of the Blessed Sacrament, and I told her it was in the background of my mind. However, I did ask her for the name and address of the Vocation Director.
Upon prayer and reflection, attending retreat weekends sponsored by the SBS at the Motherhouse, and talking with my pastor, I decided to apply for admission. The rest is history. I have been a Sister of the Blessed Sacrament for thirty-nine years and would not trade a day of it to be someone else. I have been all over the country and have done things I never expected to do like being an Assistant Editor for The Other Side magazine. I am grateful to God for the gift of my vocation and pray that other women will answer the call to become a Sister of the Blessed Sacrament.