December 18, 2016

What’s In A Name

Ellen was a full-time nurse with a busy life when she first started making weekly visits to the Blessed Sacrament. Before the end of one year, she graduated to making visits several times each week. Then she started to make the visits an hour long. Then she began to do an hour each day.

After a few years, she decided on a different course for her life, that of a religious, consecrated to serving the Lord.

In June of 2000, she became an aspirant, and in February of 2001 she was to become a postulant at the Santa Clara Monastery in Canton, Ohio. The order into which she was seeking to enter allowed postulants to pick the name they would use as a religious, and so, she went about asking her mother and otherwise working to select a name. She had one that she liked, Mary Ellen.

On Christmas, 2001, however, at Mass, when the priest elevated the Host for adoration, a thought came to her to, “Ask Jesus Now.” As she stared at the Eucharist, the name “Ishmael” made a very clear impression on her.

At the time, she did not know how to spell it, nor could she recall having heard it before. After Mass, she researched the name and then discovered that it was the name given to Abraham’s oldest son.

At any rate, she then proposed the name to her spiritual advisor, Fr. Ken Tietgen, and to her abbess, Sister Marion. Both disapproved the name of Sister Ishmael. Ellen felt strongly that the Lord Himself had communicated to her the very idea of this name and that it was His desire. She then prayed to Him, in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament again, and earnestly pleaded with Him to tell both Fr. Ken and Sister Marion, as she was only seeking to do His will.

Less than three hours remained before a meeting of the monastery community which would decide upon her name request. It was then that she received a long distance telephone call from Fr. Ken. He too had prayed before the Blessed Sacrament about her request and now gave his approval.

A half an hour later, Sister Marion revealed that she had woken up from a sleep and went, as well, to pray before the Blessed Sacrament about her name request. She too, now gave her approval.

Feeling that the Real Presence of Christ had so much to do with the choice and approval of her name, she added a title to the end of her name, so that she was now called Sister Ishmael of the Real Presence. The order of nuns into which she was seeking admission was the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.

Source: Proctor, Sr. Patricia, OSC, 201 Inspirational Stories of the Eucharist (Spokane, Washington, The Franciscan Monastery of St. Clare, 2004) p. 290-93.


Copyright 2012 The Humble Catholic

Web site designed by Chicago web design company : Indigo Image