2019 Jubilarian – Rose Graham
Sister Rose Graham was taught by the IHM Sisters from eighth through 12th grade at St. Michael in Flint, Mich. She had always wanted to be a teacher but hadn’t considered becoming a nun; during a retreat, she met Mother General and started feeling a call to a religious vocation. “You have a calling every day. Your calling is continuous,” she observes.
Sister Rose joined the IHM community right after high school graduation and was surprised at how busy the community kept her when she first entered. “I loved studying Scripture and going deeper and deeper,” she recalls. She also enjoyed her “down time,” socializing with her classmates and then having quiet time.
Her ministries began in Detroit, first at St. Francis de Sales where she taught second grade for two years and then at St. Mary Redford, teaching second grade for six years. She then went to Puerto Rico where she taught English to several grades for more than two years. “It broadened my life!” she says.
When her father, uncle and cousin passed away, she returned home to be closer to her mother, teaching fourth grade at St. Charles in Newport, Mich. After two years, she went to Honduras to teach. “I learned that I could get along with anyone and I certainly could live without a lot of things. I learned that the world is the same all over,” Sister Rose reflects.
She spent more than two years in Honduras and then was elected secretary of the province. She lived in New York while teaching part time. This was followed by ministry in Ghana, where she taught at a teachers’ college. “I loved it! All the missionaries were from different countries, and they all got along with the Ghanians.” While there, Sister Rose celebrated her 25th Jubilee and was honored with a goat, which was then used for the feast.
Eight years later, Sister Rose went to Zimbabwe where she taught in a boys’ school and then in a government school. She also taught in a high school in South Africa for six months. She returned stateside to work in Houston and spent two years working with children diagnosed with AIDS and caring for the children full time. She came back to Michigan and worked at the Motherhouse helping sisters move back home and assisting with the transitions during the Motherhouse renovation. She currently works in the service office and is a Eucharistic minister and lector.
Sister Rose’s greatest joy since joining the IHM Sisters has been being with and living with other members of the community, both in large and small groups. She has always felt that the community has the right people leading it through times of change and notes the mutual respect and trust. Her faith has helped her endure during times of difficulty.