Written on: March 27, 2018
Sister Jean Liston (Sister Anne Louise) was one of five children, mostly girls, in the Liston family of Lowell, Massachusetts. In her early years as a Grey Nun of the Sacred Heart, she taught in several schools before becoming principal at St. Rose of Lima in Buffalo, New York, and then at Christ the King School in Atlanta, Georgia. Her New England accent fused with the soft lilt of the South.
The Grey Nuns elected Sister Jean to serve as Superior General of the congregation during some difficult years but during that time, she was honored to represent the Grey Nuns at St. Marguerite d’Youville’s canonization as she mentions below.
Following some sabbatical time, Sister Jean was hired by St. Andrew’s Parish in Newtown, Pennsylvania, as Director of Pastoral Services. She established several new ministries for the parish including the Elizabeth Ministry for young mothers and the HOPE program, an initiative where parishioners help other parishioners. Sister Jean shares life with the other Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart who reside at Holy Redeemer Lafayette.
It is with a grateful heart that I celebrate sixty years as a Grey Nun of the Sacred Heart. I am thankful to God for the gift of my vocation and for the opportunities to serve God’s people as a teacher, principal, administrator, and spiritual leader. During these years, two of my ministries had spiritual and professional significance for me. I was honored to serve for twelve years as principal of Christ the King School in Atlanta when the school was named a National School of Excellence.
I was humbled when my Sisters elecccd me to serve as Superior General of the Congregation. It was during my ten-year tenure in this role that I represented the Congregation at the Canonization of Saint Marguerite d’Youville. Pope John Paul II smiled when I clasped his hand and said,
“The Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart excel in following the example of St. Marguerite d’Youville.”
Througout my life, opportunities to use my gifts were always available. I served on the Board of Trustees of both D’Youville College in Buffalo, New York and Grey Nun Academy in Yardley, Pennsylvania. Working with others to shape the future of our educational institutions was both challenging and rewarding. Leading parish councils, committees, prayer groups, and retreats as well as serving as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist to the Homebound brought me many unique blessings.
There’s a change in focus during retirement! Living at a slower pace at Holy Redeemer Lafayette provides opportunities for concentrated time for prayer, for conversations with friends and residents, for engaging in crafts, letter writing, and even exercising!
Jubilee is a time when I am filled with gratitude to God. lt is also a moment when I am filled with gratitude for the many people whose love and companionship have strengthened and sustained me on the journey. “It’s a Wonderful Life!”