Dear Sisters, Partners and Friends, I pray that you all continue to keep up your courage and spirits as this Covid-19 pandemic challenges us over and over again, as we hear and see it spread among family and friends. We also see its economic and family impact. Let us hold each other in prayer and help one another stay careful and strong.
Thanks again to all of you who are contributing to ‘News and Reflections’.
In the Heart of Jesus,
Sr. Diane, M.S.C.
Interview – Sr. Diane DalleMolle, MSC
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born and grew up on the South Side of Chicago. The second of 5 children: 3 girls, 2 boys. All 4 of my grandparents were immigrants from Italy…Bergamo, Vicenza and Piemonte. I grew up in a big family of many cousins. We belonged to a big Italian Catholic parish on the far South Side of Chicago where I went to primary school and we all attended Church. Church was the center of our spiritual and social lives.
How did you meet the MSCs?
I met the Missionary Sisters in 1974 in Chicago and was very taken with the life of St. Frances Cabrini, both her constant work to bring the love of God to others as well as her intense relationship of love with the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
In the same year, I was invited to live with the Missionary Sisters at the Motherhouse in Rome, Italy, while I started studies at the Gregorian University. After getting to know them I asked to enter as a candidate in 1975. During those first years while I was studying, I had the opportunity to live in 4 different communities in Rome. I loved the life and ministries of the sisters as well as their kindness, warmth and ability to get things done. I went back to the USA for one year of novitiate and then returned to Rome as a junior sister in 1978 to continue studies as well as ministry. In 1981 I returned to the USA and was missioned to Cabrini High School in Washington Heights (New York City). I did ministry in New York while preparing for final vows. I made my permanent commitment in 1983 at the St. Frances Cabrini Shrine in Chicago.
What were you doing before you joined the MSCs?
Before I joined the MSCs, I was working as a nurse for 10 years. I had attained a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Nursing and worked in medical-surgical nursing, burns nursing, emergency room nursing (working nights while going to school….you have to be pretty young to do that!); but for the majority of time I worked in psychiatric nursing at a treatment and research hospital. After University and during these working years, I lived on my own and kept an active work and social life.
What is your ministry now?
Presently, my ministry is as Regional Superior of the Holy Spirit Region which encompasses Eswatini, Ethiopia, Uganda and our school in London. It is a new region which began officially 4½ years ago at which time I was appointed as the Regional Superior. Before the development of the Region, I was ministering for 13 years in Eswatini (Swaziland) in Cabrini Ministries at St. Philip’s Mission in the Lubombo Lowveld. They were incredible years of learning, hard work and transformation in my understanding of many things. The great hearts and intense work of so many local staff made a difference in the lives of so many during the HIV/AIDS/TB pandemic, and that work continues today in dealing with the consequences of the pandemic.
What do you hope for with HSR?
My dream for the future of HS Region is that the local staff and the Missionary Sisters will continue to serve the people in each area as our brothers and sisters. In an atmosphere of respect, of intelligent love and knowledge, the love of God is concretely experienced by the people, often without any words. From that level of service and knowledge of the people and culture, the new works among the most vulnerable which are most needed to be developed will emerge. I see it already in the new works, thoughts and recommendations for the future which come from dedicated lay partners and sisters.Another part of that dream is to see new Missionary Sisters coming from different parts of Africa…we already have seen women who desire to be Missionary Sisters emerging from Kenya, Cameroon, Zimbabwe…places we have never ministered. They are drawn by dedication to the Heart of Jesus and by the dynamism of the sisters they meet. The dream is also to see new lay partners with dedication to the most vulnerable, & who are also willing with their families to go where the need is greatest. To become more and more one family of Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
What are your dreams for the future?
My personal dream as I move toward 80 years old is to enter into an ever deepening relationship with God and to help generate that desire in both young sisters and the laity, because it the very basis of service to others. God trusts us enormously and leaves the work of passing His intense and personal love of each person to our decision. The goal is… despite our frequent failures …to keep trying and starting over with God’s help.
Anything else you would like to share with us?
Within the Institute of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I have found a great support among both sisters and laity for my life in Christ as well as for myself as a person. I have found enduring friendship with some, and colleagues for life and ministry in others. It is one of the great gifts received as a Missionary Sister in the charism of St. Frances Cabrini.
(Thanks to Sr. Diane MSC for this this interview)
Thanks to Holy Spirit newsletter for this article