Sister Lisa, formerly Sister Margaret Mary, entered the Community from Blessed Sacrament Church in Natrona Heights, Pa. She describes her family as one that was fiercely faithful to gospel values for many generations, with grandparents, parents, and more, who incarnated these values and were models to follow. “My parents and siblings generated religious values in our family that permeated our home with the Divine Presence. My Grandmother Paffrath and Aunt Elizabeth, for whom I took my religious name, spent time with me, talked to me, listened to me, and taught me. They influenced how I grew up to be a mature woman,” says Sister Lisa. She was mesmerized by the Sisters who taught her, by the way they related to one another—so freely, playfully, and intimately. She felt drawn into their way of life. All of these influences together opened her to hear the call to consecrated life and to have the courage to follow that call.
For 21 years, Sister Lisa was a counselor in the addiction and mental health fields (1986–2007). She was elected to Community leadership in 2001 and served in that capacity for 10 years. She also has served in formation ministry (1972–82) and is presently active in vocation ministry.
Sister Lisa is especially dedicated to the values of compassion and justice, moved by those in greatest need, and passionately motivated to bring compassion and justice to situations that yearn for it. In addition, growing up in the mystical, magical woods of Pennsylvania and playing in its powerful rivers gave Sister Lisa a deep awareness and awe of the sacred. It afforded her a presence that has been profound throughout her life, compelling her to create beauty and presence in her life and ministry.
“I feel so blessed to have lived in the era of Vatican Council II, a defining moment both personally, as a consecrated religious, and communally, as a member of the Sisters of Divine Providence, who were utterly transformed by it. I feel our generation of religious has incarnated Vatican II. Vatican Councils are the highest level of authority in our Church and are the complement of the Holy Spirit. In Vatican Council II, I felt the burst of new life and grace into a world aching and yearning for this providential event. Now, as I celebrate my 50th anniversary in consecrated life, the Church celebrates the 50th anniversary of Vatican Council II.”
Sister Lisa describes herself as faithful, passionate, and creative. Her hobbies are reading (especially on issues of social justice and feminine spirituality), any type of needlework and crafts, jigsaw puzzles, and movies. She has a special interest in anything related to right relationship, social justice, and feminine spirituality.