Sister Edwina Pope, ASC (Adorers of the Blood of Christ)
‘It has been a life-giving experience’
Sister Edwina Pope, ASC, is the archivist for the U.S. Region, Sisters Adorers. She is a Religious Vocation from Sacred Heart Parish in Pratt.
SKR: Why did you enter religious life?
Sister Edwina Pope, ASC: At seven years old, I was baptized into Calvary Baptist Church in Pratt. My thoughts at that time were that I wanted to go to Africa and be a missionary. I remember at my grandfather’s death, there was a Sister with him when he died at the hospital. I was nine years old. Later on I found out the Sister’s name and met her. During my senior year of high school, my thoughts were to be a Sister; I hardly knew any one of them or what they were about. While a freshman in Pratt Junior College, I took instructions from Father Francis Jordan at Sacred Heart Parish, Pratt. I joined the Church on July 4, 1964, my independence day. During my first two years of college, I did work at Pratt County Regional Hospital in the kitchen; the Sisters of St. Joseph were there.
I thought I needed my education, so I had to work my way through college; it took me 10 years going part-time. I graduated in 1973 from Sacred Heart College (now Newman University) in Wichita.
Completing my education, I was always hearing the Lord call me during all this time, especially on weekends.... I worked the weekends delivering U.S. mail to post offices. The hours were crazy, so I had lots of time to think and to pray.
While at a prayer group, I was handed a paper, calling for a weekend at the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in Wichita, to see what a Christian woman was about. I told my story to the Formation Directress; from there the beginnings of my religious life began. At 33, I entered our ASC community; this 2010 I will celebrate 30 years in my community.
SKR: Why did you choose your particular congregation?
Sister Edwina: I knew the Great Bend Dominicans, Sisters of St. Joseph; I have lots of friends in both communities. But my spirit spoke to the Adorers of the Blood of Christ; I have never regretted my following Christ into our Community.
SKR: What have been your greatest challenges as a religious?
Sister Edwina: I sold my house, my car, but I have gained so much more. I think my biggest challenge was trying to live with so many Sisters. It has been a life giving experience and I have grown and it has deepened my faith journey. It was hard on me during the time I was in Pennsylvania for five years and being away from my Sisters here in Wichita. But I wouldn’t trade my time in the East with our Sisters in Columbia, PA for anything.
SKR: What have been your greatest joys?
Sister Edwina: One of my highlights was the canonization of St. Maria DeMattias in Rome of May 18, 2003. It was a great day for our community, Pope John Paul’s birthday and my birthday; and all those thousands of people singing happy birthday to me, too. It was truly a great day.
I will be journeying back to where Maria established our community in Italy this July for studies of our spirituality and community and I am thrilled to go back for a longer time. I have been studying my Italian.
SKR: What kind of ministries have you been/are you involved in?
Sister Edwina: My ministries have been at:
Newman University for 23 years at Ryan Library where I was the Cataloger and Interlibrary Loan Librarian, Wichita.
Five years and three months with our ASC Sisters in Columbia, PA where I took care of them and drove more than 100,000 miles. It included many trips to the airports, hospitals, doctors.
Now I am our new U.S. Region Archivist for all of our Community as of Jan, 1, 2010. Everyday in my new ministry is very different and challenging.
SKR: Please offer a quote that makes a statement about the value of religious life for you.
Sister Edwina: My quote I take from St. Maria DeMattias: “The spirit of this holy Institute is all love. This word we have carved in our minds and our hearts. I say Love, Love toward God and toward our dear neighbor.”