Pentecost recalls the story of Jesus sending his disciples into the world. It was during the Vigil of Pentecost this weekend that Sister Susan Quaintance celebrated her 25th Jubilee as a Benedictine Sister of Chicago. Sister Susan has spent her life in education, sending students into the world equipped with the values of faith. It seemed fitting, then, that her jubilee--celebrated on Pentecost--would celebrate her own 25 years of ministry of being sent forth into ministry and her ministry of sending forth others.
Raised in the Quad-Cities, Sister Susan graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in English. Later, she completed her master's in Theology, with concentrations in Monastic Studies and Scripture from St. John's University, Collegeville, MN.
She taught English and Theology at St. Scholastica Academy for 23 years and currently serves as Program Coordinator in the Center for Life and Learning at Fourth Presbyterian Church. She is president of the American Benedictine Academy and First Councilor of the Federation of Saint Scholastica. Within her own community, she has been a member of the Monastic Council, the Formation Team, and the Formation Director.
Sister Susan's Jubilee Mass was both lively and poignant, with heartfelt song and memories woven throughout the service. Many attendees wore red to mark the symbol of fire that accompanies the Pentecost story. Toward the close of the celebration, the priest read Gerard Manley Hopkin's poem that begins, "The world is charged with the grandeur of God. It will flame out, like shining from shook foil..."
Indeed, Sister Susan's life, like Pentecost's symbolic flame, has been one that has illuminated her community and the world around her. Congratulations, Sister Susan!