Spend just a few minutes with Sister Jan Gier and you’ll easily understand why children respond so well to her. Her kind, gentle voice and warm smile bespeak her love for them, her love of her vocation, and her love of the Lord.
“My personal relationship with the Lord through Eucharist, community prayer as well as my personal prayer, and my teaching ministry give meaning to my life,” says Sister Jan. “My community, family and friends also give my life meaning.”
The joy in Sister Jan’s heart radiates when she speaks both of her vocation as an Ursuline Sister of Youngstown and her ministry as an educator.
Sometimes you don’t realize what an impact you have on children’s lives. Being a positive presence in the classroom promotes an environment of love and support,” Sister Jan says. She had many Ursuline Sisters as teachers when she was growing up, and notes, “There’s just something special about the Ursuline Sisters that made a difference in my life.
That difference was one of the reasons Sister Jan answered her calling to become a nun a couple of years after becoming a teacher. Since then, she’s spent more than three decades as a teacher a and administrator in schools and preschools throughout the Youngstown Diocese.
“I love teaching,” exclaims Sister Jan, now a kindergarten instructor at St. Stephen School in Niles, Ohio. “The children are so enthusiastic. They love being in school. They love to learn, and they get excited about simple things.”
The Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown were originally a teaching order, but just a handful minister as educators today. Still, that was one of the original appeals about the community for Sister Jan – but not the only one.
“The Ursuline Sisters served primarily in the Diocese of Youngstown, and I felt called to be a part of their ministry to serve the local church.
“And then there was Sister Norma,” Sister Jan continues. “I would meet with her on a regular basis before I entered. Sister Norma was enthusiastic, supportive and encouraging.”
And contact Sister Norma Raupple, who can offer you guidance as she did for Sister Jan. You can Email Sister Norma or call her at 330-792-7636, or call or text her at 330-301-6891.