Then and Now

Barbara Weigand 1Sister Barbara Weigand was born in Randolph, Ohio, on her maternal grandfather’s farm. Her family moved to Akron, Ohio, to support the educational needs of her older brother who was deaf.

Sister Barbara attended St. Paul Elementary School, taught by the Sisters of St. Dominic. She met the IHM Sisters at St. Mary High School in Akron, where she was a member of the chorale and Sodality. She was deeply touched by many of the sisters who taught her.

She felt her religious vocation as early as sixth grade. With the exception of her junior year of high school, it stayed with her, although she didn’t want to admit her vocation to anyone and denied it even to herself. During a visit to the Motherhouse and an unexpected meeting with the general superior, she knew that was where God was calling her. Her parents were supportive of her decision, and after high school graduation, Sister Barbara joined the community.

“I really was blessed during my formation,” she says. “It was a time to grow intellectually, spiritually and relationally.”

She taught at St. Martin in Detroit, St. Mary and St. Michael in Monroe, Mich., St. Mark in Cleveland before becoming principal at St. Charles in Newport, Mich. She taught fourth through eighth grades as well as music and religion classes throughout her teaching ministry. Sister Barbara was also elected to the IHM Southeast province council as treasurer.

She took courses in theology at Catholic Theological Union before going to the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth to train as a spiritual director. She then joined the staff at Visitation Center in Monroe, directing retreats and offering spiritual direction. After seven years at Visitation, she joined the staff at the Jesuit Center, where she directed retreats and helped train applicants to be spiritual directors.

In 2000, she was elected to the IHM Leadership Council. One of the blessings of being in Leadership, she says, is “getting to know community very intimately and getting to know the sisters and relating with them in a very personal way. There was a whole sense of togetherness.”

Following her six-year term in Leadership, Sister Barbara began her Clinical Pastoral Education at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo, Ohio, before becoming a chaplain at Mercy Memorial Hospital in Monroe.WEIGAND-BARBARA-113

She retired after seven years and has since volunteered as chaplain one day a week, does spiritual direction, works on the IHM Chapel Concert Committee and serves as the interim director of Pastoral Care at the Motherhouse.

Sister Barbara’s greatest joy is “being a member of the community. There is a spirit of concern for one another.” She enjoys reaching out to others and addressing their needs.

“We are here for the people of God,” she notes. She is most grateful for the way the community has “called forth her gifts.” and how those gifts have been integrated with others.

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