Sending forth Disciples

Written on: July 20, 2015

As a young teacher and woman religious teaching at Christ the King School in Atlanta in the 1970’s, I received an invitation to a special gathering.  The family of one of my seventh grade students—the father, mother and three children— was being received into the Catholic Church at a Mass being held in their home.  The abbot from Conyers Trappist Monastery was performing the sacraments.

Thinking that my invitation to attend this celebration was due to Rob being in my classroom all year, I was amazed to hear there was  more significance to it than I had thought.  At the punch bowl during the meal following the mass, I was chatting with Rob’s father.  I thanked him for inviting me to this celebration.  He looked at me rather incredulously and said, “Why Sister, didn’t you know that you were the one who sent the little disciple home?

Young Rob was the person in the family who came home excited about what he was learning in religion.  He was the young disciple who brought that whole family into the church.

I was so busy being a new teacher that I hadn’t realized the influence that I had on this young man.  It was an honor to hear it and very humbling indeed.


Mary LizSister Mary Elizabeth Looby, GNSH is currently a member of the GNSH Leadership Council. She has been a teacher, Pastoral Associate, Spiritual Director and Vocation/Formation Director and more, throughout her years as a Grey Nun of the Sacred Heart. Sister Mary Elizabeth has a sister who is a contemplative Carmelite and a brother who is a priest! Catholic faith was truly a strong value in her family of origin.

3 thoughts on “Sending forth Disciples

  1. greynun says:

    Dear Mary Elizabeth,

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. Often, we never realize what our students carry away from our classes. I remember a time when I was Principal at Mother of Divine Providence in King of Prussia. I was also teaching Religion to the 7th & 8th graders. One day I heard from the mother of one of the boys. She told me that he was amazed to hear that God loves us “just as we are”. Imagine! This boy had been in our school from K-7th grade, and never realized how awesome God’s love for us is!

  2. Roselee Maddaloni says:

    Mary Liz, I am not surprised at this. You have a wonderful way about you! This is a wonderful story of YOUR discipleship!

  3. Sister Jean Liston says:

    Congratulations, Mary Elizabeth! A heart-warming story!

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