Learning is really a lifelong journey, and for me to witness older adults and their perseverance at every age and life stage, has been a lifelong blessing.
As an academic advisor with students at Aquinas, I was often inspired by the dedication, determination, and drive of non-traditional students returning to the halls of education. Some students were returning to college to complete a degree or program that they had been unable to finish earlier in their lives.
Others were just beginning college study. Some were prompted to advance their education due to difficult situations: the death of a spouse or a divorce guided them to a career path to better paying jobs. Many were single moms raising children. For them, returning to school meant sacrificing precious time with family. Still, they persevered and many became excellent students with a continuing desire for even more study and learning. I was thrilled to walk beside adults on these non-traditional educational paths.
This year, as we celebrate Sister Diane’s 60-Year Jubilee, we also celebrate the AQ Saints, the non-traditional students whose values are shaped by the pillars of Study, Prayer, Service, and Community. We also encourage and celebrate Sister Diane’s students in our WORD-ESL Ministry. This ministry, now in its 20th year, matches tutors with adult students learning to speak, read, and write English.
“I believe in the power of prayer and accompaniment,” says Sister Diane.
Today, she is also a member of the Marywood Health Center pastoral care team. Sister Diane offers support through spiritual care, listening, and shared prayer with adult patients during their healing and recovery. “Again, it’s the many examples of perseverance that demonstrate for me, the power of God’s grace,” says Sister Diane.
God is good.