Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, pray in me for I do not know how to pray as I ought.
Sister Jane Barman, SDS (Jane Frances) once said, “You don’t retire when you come to St. Nazianz.” She was right. Sr. Jane cherishes her 24 years serving in the tight-knit Wisconsin village steeped in Salvatorian history.
Upon arriving in St. Nazianz, she cared for aged Salvatorian Sisters. Later on, Sr. Jane drove 38 miles a week to deliver Meals on Wheels, and tutored kindergarteners through second graders at St. Gregory School. She says teaching little ones to tie their shoes and recite the alphabet kept her young. Perhaps Salvatorian Sisters said the same about Sr. Jane when she attended St. Joseph’s School in East Bristol, Wis. She graduated from eighth grade during World War II, but didn’t start high school until she entered the convent.
Sr. Jane earned a degree from Milwaukee’s Mount Mary College, and ministered in education for 38 years. She taught five years at Divine Savior High School and served four years as principal at Mother of Good Counsel (MGC), both in Milwaukee. Her longest teaching assignment was 22 years at Holy Name School in Wausau, Wis.
Sr. Jane once joked about taking early retirement to make time for all her hobbies. In truth, she has always managed to wrap her gardening, bird watching, sewing and candle making around her ministries.
Today, as Sister Jane reflects on her 70 years professed as a Salvatorian Sister, she compares herself to the caboose on a train. She explains, “I was the last Sister to serve as an assistant novice directress; the last sister-principal of MGC; the last sister to teach at Holy Name School in Wausau, Wisconsin; and the last Coordinator of St. Mary’s Convent in St. Nazianz.”
Now that she truly is retired from active ministry, Sr. Jane has taken up a few new pastimes. “I still watch birds, but I also watch and feed peanuts to the squirrels outside my window. They’re better entertainment than TV. I also make greeting cards, paint on rocks, read, do Sudoku and knit winter caps for the poor.”