In honor of National Catholic Sisters Week, we’ve asked several Adorers to reflect on how Catholic sisters influenced their lives.

DroneRABy Sr. Raphael Ann Drone, ASC

Does religious sister DNA run through families?

My Grandpa Drone had two sisters who were Adorers, Emma and Gabriel, who are buried in our Ruma motherhouse cemetery, and a Servite sibling.

His sister, our great aunt Teresa, had four daughters who became sisters, including an Adorer, Sr. Rachel Lawler.

Four of Grandpa Drone’s granddaughters became Adorers: the late Kathleen McGuire; Ada, who later returned to being a lay woman, and my sister Alicia Drone and me.

There were/are others in different branches of the family tree. It seems to run in the DNA.

Our family history with the Adorers and my closeness to my sister, Alicia, most surely had an influence on my coming to the Ruma motherhouse after grade school to begin a happy life.

But for me, the real attraction to becoming a sister was to teach children. We had only sister teachers in the small town school we attended; I did not know lay teachers.

St. Joseph’s in Ridgway, Ill., had about 120 students in three classrooms taught by three School Sisters of Notre Dame.

Second- and third-graders helped “teach” the younger students as Sister taught the older ones. The love of learning, the love of helping others to learn, and admiration of those women who enabled me to do both led me to decide even in second grade that I would be a sister-teacher when I grew up.

And then, the family DNA, the happiness of my sibling, Alicia, and other relatives as sisters, and the welcoming spirit I always experienced at Ruma drew me to this community of great women. It has kept me happily within it, through its many changes and stages of growth over the years.

The challenges of living with some characters and working along with others have always been very real, as has the joy of being connected with, being a part of, this special community’s life and charism in the Church.

To witness and teach about God’s love for every person in the great Story of Salvation through Jesus being among us is a gift too big to tell.

I really, really like being one of (our founder) St. Maria’s daughters in this community of creative, dedicated, generous Sister Adorers. And I thank God for all the gifts including that powerful DNA.