Sister Jeanne Cigolle celebrates 65 years as an Ursuline Sister of Youngstown in 2016. Throughout her varied ministries, her life has been filled with joy. Sister Jeanne walks us down her path in this installment of Vocation Stories.
In Sister Jeanne’s own voice
I am an Ursuline Sister and very proud of it.
When I came to the convent, I just knew that was the place for me. I love the Mass. I love the prayer life. The words of prayers and the Mass have a beautiful meaning. As I’m getting older, those words have even more meaning for me.
The call to become a nun came in the summers between the 1st and 2nd grade, when my mother, two brothers and I would help the Sisters clean the school. Sister Virginia asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said, ‘I’m going to be a nun.’ She told me that I’d change my mind 10 times before I did that. I looked her right in the eyes and said, ‘No I won’t.’ And I never did. I kept that dream all through my school years.
When I entered, I felt at home. I felt it was the place for me. God has his ways of doing things.
In the summers, we’d go to school to get our bachelor’s degrees. I also went to Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisc., for five summers to get a Master’s degree in education.
My first 19 years I was a teacher at the old St. Ann School on Federal Street, at St. Columba, and at St. Patrick’s in Youngstown. Then I was asked by the Mother Superior to sew habits for the Sisters and did that for a decade.
When we needed a nurse in our healthcare wing, I volunteered. I went to nursing school for two years. I am still a licensed nurse today.
For six years I worked with our Motherhouse Pool ministry. I now tutor at Ursuline Preschool and Kindergarten. In my spare time, I like to do crafts and sell the items to support ministries at The Ursuline Center.
If you are considering religious life, pray. Ask God to help you decide. Become associated with some Sisters so you can get to know what they’re really like. It makes discernment a little bit easier.