2015 Jubilarian – Susan (Joseph Ellen) Mahalik
Sister Susan Mahalik was educated by the Philadelphia IHM Sisters in grade school and high school. She also had the opportunity to meet women religious in other teaching congregations during her four years in high school. The IHMs seemed to be both energetic and in healthy contact with the high school girls. It was this wonderful spirit that attracted her to religious life.
Sister Susan participated in a diocesan new-teacher program and worked as a lay teacher for a year before entering the congregation. She taught at a new school that was staffed by the Philadelphia IHMs and was mentored in the teaching profession.
She entered the congregation at a time when many young women felt called to religious life. During her novitiate, the congregation built a new Motherhouse complex neared the congregational college and the novices were involved in moving the Motherhouse and novitiate.
Sister Susan’s early years in the congregation were spent teaching in several different parish schools. The parishes were first in the suburbs and in the “inner-city,” and her ministry included preparing students for reception of the sacraments as well as encouraging parental participation in Church life and their children’s education.
Much of Sister Susan’s parish life experience occurred after Vatican II and she worked with other IHM Sisters in bringing the dream of Vatican II into the parish life experience. The focus was on parish life, liturgical renewal and participation in music ministry in several of the parishes in which she served.
She came to the Monroe IHM congregation after much reflection on her time with the Philadelphia IHMs. She traded loss for new life and has found great joy in her life with the sisters in Monroe. Sister Susan is always inspired by the prayerful energy and focus of the IHM Sisters as they continue their journey to follow Christ.
She has taught school, worked as a pastoral associate and now as a clinical therapist since joining the Monroe IHMs. At this time, a new window of hope seems to have been opened for the people of the Church by Pope Francis. Sister Susan hopes to continue in ministry for the people of God in the name of the congregation. She loves congregational gatherings, as she feels nurtured by the wonderful IHM Sisters.