The Youngest Nun: Super Sweet Grape Tomatoes

Lynn Mousel

Glacier National Park.  Sister Johnelle, Lissie, Lynn's Aunt Carol, family friend Angie and Sister Lynn

Sister Lynn Mousel reflects on living in community in her 5th post in our series 
"The Youngest Nun:"

The other area of my life as a sister I would like to expand on is life lived in community. From my previous posts, you already know that I live with Sister Johnelle and her foster daughter Lissie. Part of our routine in community life is having dinner and praying together in the evening.This gives us a chance to connect and share about our day. 

Having time to recreate together is also very important. The three of us go to Glacier National Park every summer for a few days. Our favorite spot there is Lake McDonald. The combination of the water and the mountains is tranquil and breathtaking. Some years friends or relatives join us in the fun. Closer to home, we recently went to the state fair in Great Falls and enjoyed tribute singers Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline.

Laughter! Sister Johnelle's birthday celebration
with our friend Dorothy Hunter, Johnelle,
 Sister Claudellen Pentecost and Lissie.
One of the biggest gifts for me in community has been laughter. Lissie and I especially love to make each other laugh. A favorite example is when we were washing dishes and she put the sticker from the tomatoes on me that said “Super Sweet Grape Tomatoes.” I told her just take off the grape tomatoes part and that would suit me just fine. She obliged and we laughed until our stomachs ached!

There are difficult moments too. Lissie is the first to tell me that, even though I'm a physician, I am still learning about life with someone with a developmental disability due to fetal alcohol syndrome. It is amazing how Sr. Johnelle has done it all these years. I admire how open they are in their ministry to educate others about fetal alcohol syndrome. I gain inspiration from Jean Vanier, the founder of the L’Arche movement, which brings together core members with developmental disabilities and people without disabilities who live and companion with them.