By Sister Pat Dieringer
Just a week after high school graduation, I entered the “work world,” joining the accounting department of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. I worked there for seven years before I felt a pull to enter religious life.
I entered the convent, another religious congregation, for the first time on Sept. 8, 1954. After some months, with much prayer and the help of spiritual direction, I determined I wasn’t being called to be a Sister — at least not then. So I returned home and helped my mother care for my father, who was very ill. I returned to the work force, first with an insurance company and then later again with Goodyear. I also tutored at the parish school and in homes, and volunteered in the rectory doing office work. My life was busy, and full.
But all the while God was still nudging my heart to re-explore religious life. I entered the Sisters of the Precious Blood on Aug. 23, 1959. I was all of 30 — in those days considered “an older vocation!” After professing my vows, I began years of ministry, all of which enabled me to use my business and accounting background in various places and institutions.
Although I’m formally retired, my plate is as full as ever. I work in several congregational ministries and help as needed with the older Sisters. I’m actively involved at Precious Blood Parish in Dayton where I serve as Eucharistic minister and coordinator for Eucharistic ministers. I enjoy helping to serve the area poor through the parish’s St. Vincent DePaul Society. I’m also an avid sports fan and would love to see my Cincinnati Reds win another World Series.
But added to all the above, the first and foremost priority of my ministry is daily Eucharist and striving to deepen my prayer life. This is what energizes me and supports all my activities. It makes every day a new challenge.
I’m happy that the second time around God allowed me to dedicate myself to him and his church through the Sisters of the Precious Blood. Our Precious Blood charism and the inspiration of Mother Maria Anna Brunner urge me to be a reconciling presence: to give hope to the hopeless through the acceptance of everyone, of every race, culture, creed and nationality.