Sister Stories

Sister Ann Parker, IHM: “Come, follow me”

My days as IHM are full of life and possibilities. I am grateful to God for the gift of vocation that enables me to be about the mission of Jesus in the world today.
Sister Ann Parker, IHM

Ministry Themes

  • Keeping the Flame of Faith Burning
  • Following the Path of Discipleship
  • Nurturing the IHM Charism with Associates

Looking back over my years of ministry as an IHM Sister, I give thanks to God for the many blessings that I have received.

As a primary teacher and principal, I treasure the opportunities given to me to form children, parents and teachers in their academic and spiritual development. My mission experiences took me to Binghamton, New York, Clark’s Green, Pennsylvania, Rocky Mount, North Carolina and LaPlata and Indian Head, Maryland.  My focus was often on the formation and nurturing of faith communities. This was challenging, but something I always felt was important in maintaining our Catholic identity in our world today.

My next ministry opportunity was a major shift when I went to St. Anthony’s Parish in North Beach, Maryland, located on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay.  I assumed the role of Director of Religious Education and Youth Ministry. This was quite a change from Catholic education.  As I prayed by the waters of the Bay, I was astounded by a growing awareness of the numerous ways people today are challenged to live out their baptismal call to holiness as they strive to keep the flame of faith burning in their lives. These were the people I would be called to serve for many years to come.

North Beach Associates
North Beach Associates

When I transitioned to the role of Pastoral Associate in this same parish, I became involved in numerous ways to deepen the faith life of those I encountered and served. Family faith and discipleship became my dominant theme.  My reflecting mind and creative gifts attuned themselves to the inspiration of the Spirit. The many programs and events that I crafted were centered around the Scriptures and teachings of Jesus as I endeavored to awaken parishioners’ spiritual craving for a deeper relationship with God. About the same time, I became passionate about our IHM mission to be “clear and understandable prophetic witnesses to the presence of God in the world.”  The final mandate of Jesus to “Go and make disciples,” became the major theme of my ministry.

During my many years of ministry in North Beach, I also reached out to invite people to embark on the journey of becoming IHM Associates. For almost twenty years I have been blessed by sharing our IHM Mission and Charism with men and women from North Beach and LaPlata.  Their commitment and faith sharing have made our ever-evolving IHM mission statements come alive in life-giving ways.

I am now retired from active ministry and living in Bethesda, Md. However, I continue to minister to the Associates on a regular basis. They continue to be a source of commitment for me and a strong connection with our IHM mission in today’s world. I also volunteer in some aspects of parish life. I facilitate sessions for a Women’s Group with a focus on discipleship as they seek a deeper spirituality in their lives.

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