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Passion for mission has been the byword for our 2020 celebration of 125 years serving in the USA. Meet Sister Georgene Faust, SDS, whose passion for mission has endured most remarkably for 77 years. We hope her story will inspire your support to carry our mission into 2021.

Sr. Georgene uses the word miraculous to describe how education changes lives. She began her education ministry in 1945 at St. Paul School in Bloomer, Wis. Soon, she moved from the classroom to the principal’s office, serving more than 30 years in Maryland.

When she “officially” retired in 1994, Sr. Georgene still wasn’t ready to give up her beloved ministry. She started an English as a Second Language (ESL) class for adults with special needs at Rio Salado College in Phoenix, Ariz. There, her students’ hopes became her inspiration: “Just the fact that these adults wanted to better themselves kept me going,”

After retiring again – at age 90 – Sr. Georgene resumed tutoring as a volunteer. Even during the pandemic, she continues helping a student with special needs whom she’s tutored for three years. Now a high school senior, he hopes to train as an EMT.

In fall, Sr. Georgene kept busy with phone calls to get out the vote, using call lists from Valley Interfaith Project (VIP). Sr. Georgene joined VIP years ago to fan the flame in her heart from the 1963 March on Washington. That experience deepened her faith and strengthened her commitment to justice: “It’s a lasting memory, being part of an endless crowd of people from all walks of life, championing the same call for an end to racism.”

Sr. Georgene’s downtime from ministry includes a daily half-hour walk and swim. It’s a habit from long before she enrolled in a nationwide study of how “moving more and sitting less” impacts heart disease and stroke in older women. She says the study will end in 2020 – but not her early morning walk with a dose of sunshine before the mercury climbs. She calls her 30-minute swim her “gifted time” to be in touch with Jesus: “Often, I pray simply, “Lord, be with whomever is in need of you now.”

Sr. Georgene says, “Growth – be it mental, physical or spiritual – is not limited by age, and she lives by her words. She stopped counting birthdays at 90, but she hasn’t stopped growing. Twice a week she volunteers at St. Vincent DePaul center in Phoenix. While there, Sr. Georgene says, “I just do whatever needs to be done.”

Won’t you consider a gift to support Sr. Georgene and all our sisters who live out our passion for mission, each in our own way? Your gift, large or small, will help carry our mission into 2021.

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