Spotlight on Associates

Living the IHM Mission
By JoAnn Capaul-Smallidge, IHM Associate

CAPAUL-SMALLIDG-JO-ANN-37In 1979, I enrolled my daughter in St. Mary Academy, where I first met Sister Margaret Babcock and Sister Catherine Broughton. Immediately, I felt the goodness and hospitality of the IHMs.

Ten years after that, I left nursing management and teaching looking for a quieter work life. Again, Sisters Margaret and Catherine were big influences in my seeking employment in the Motherhouse infirmary. I came to the IHM Motherhouse and was hired that same day.

Throughout my 10 years in the infirmary I felt a sense of home – comfortable and hospitable. I took classes at the Visitation Barn, which led to my journey toward becoming an associate. I became an associate in 2005; I felt a completeness in the IHM charism which gave life and energy to me. In 2012, I made my lifelong commitment.

Over the years, I have served on what was once called the Associate Board and I am currently serving a third term on the IHM Associate Council. Since 2008, I have served on the IHM Responsible Investment Committee as well as the DTE Energy Subcommittee, particularly devoting attention to voting proxies and training others to do this work.

Being an associate has led me into facilitating spiritual retreats, singing in my church choir and participating in my Mission Unit, and I have been deeply touched by the ecumenical openness of the IHM community.

Helping in my family’s business and being an IHM Associate have brought me to the realization that I don’t intend to formally “retire.” There is no retiring from the IHM Mission; you just keep going! I am called to live what I call a “Christ-like lifestyle.”  I will continue to pray, to seek justice and peace for all and to live the IHM charism in all that I do.