Inspirational Feature by J1 Reporter Natalie Plewa
Thinking of one specific person who inspires you most can be a challenge. Finding someone on a personal level who has an inspiring story takes getting to know that person on a level deeper than just being acquainted. Everyone has a general idea of who inspires them because the qualities in that person are what they achieve to be.
Sister Caroline Turnovsky, O.S.M., has a story that would inspire many people. She really questioned religious life and was challenged by the idea of becoming a Sister, but in the end she followed her heart. She really took advice from one of her teachers when she was thinking about entering the order, and she felt inspired by that teacher. “The one sister that I talked with when I really thought about religious life…she was just a sweetheart, you know, a good listener,” said Sister Caroline.
That same teacher would always give her good advice about doing what she thought was right and what would make her happy. While she was deciding whether or not to enter into religious life, she talked to the teacher about what she should do. “She said, ‘You just can’t be sure about anything other than death [in this life],’ and I think she added taxes,” Sister Caroline said. Even though she wasn’t positive that her decision was right at first, she became a Servant of Mary, and she said she’s very happy she made that decision.
Sister Caroline recognizes the importance of giving back to the community around her. She currently works for the American Red Cross by making phone calls and asking people to donate blood. “When I call, I have the intention that, first of all, people who receive the blood will be healed, and that they will also have a deep hunger for God,” she said. By keeping her faith in every aspect of her life, she is showing others what it means to carry on God’s message. She knows that she can make an impact on the lives of those around her. “With every pint of blood that’s received, we usually manufacture it, and we figure an average of three people are helped and saved,” she said.
Sister Caroline understands what it means to be an inspiring figure in someone’s life, and she recognizes that her decisions make an impact on others. “I guess to inspire I just try to do my job, and God picks up and multiplies,” she said. Sister Caroline has had many chances to connect with people through being a math teacher at Marian, being a Servant of Mary, and by volunteering at the Red Cross, and she truly appreciates the fact that she had the opportunity to be a positive influence in others’ lives.