Sister Kathleen Flanagan
Although I was born in southern California, I grew up in Denver, Colorado. When I was 3 or 4 I had an encounter with some large goldfish that was at a convent/motherhouse somewhere in the San Bernardino Mountains . . . I KNEW then I wanted to be a sister! Growing up I went to several Catholic schools and was taught by various communities of women religious, St. Joseph of Carondolet, Sacred Heart, Franciscans. I hadn’t thought much of my childhood dream during those years. In college, I participated in a six-week program run by the Dubuque Franciscans, Common Venture. We, 4 college-age women, lived in the community, with 2 sisters, and did community service. It was during this experience that I rekindled my desire to seek religious life.
After graduating from Benedictine College, I joined the Colorado Springs Franciscan. I stayed for 3 years but sadly I felt called to leave. I could not vow myself to that community for life. I wanted/needed COMMUNITY. I did not feel I could live it among those wonderful women. Since I was an elementary teacher I looked for and found a job, with the help of my cousin, in San Antonio, Texas. I taught for 3 years there in 2 schools, enjoying life, making friends, camping, and searching. I came back to Atchison and entered in 1984. There is a certain at-homeness feel for me here. I am often challenged and stretched to be my best self, to let go of the little things, to love more deeply, and to listen and respond to the needs of others.