Entered Life: October 15, 1934
Entered Religious Life: September 8, 1952
Entered Eternal Life: September 28, 2016
“In God’s Will is my peace” is the inscription on Sharon Whelan’s profession ring, and was also the motivator for her life, one day at a time. Her journey as an IBVM has been one of love, faith, trust and discovery. As she has said, “a journey sometimes on a mountain top, sometimes in a valley, but always in the sunshine of God’s love.”
Sharon was an educator, teaching first grade, (“the little ones”) early in her religious life. As she taught, she also shared her love, kindness, compassion, understanding and gentleness. She loved the little ones as they loved her. Sharon would “light up like a Christmas tree” whenever and wherever she would encounter them. She believed, as Jesus taught, that we need to change and become like little children. Her love of teaching inspired primary school children at St. John Vianny in Northlake, St. Bride and St. Bernard in Chicago and Sacred Heart in Aurora, Illinois.
In pursuit of God’s will for her, she moved on to her new ministries at St. Edna in Arlington Heights and St. John the Apostle in Villa Park. In 1990 she became an Addictions Counselor at the Des Plaines Valley Community Center (Pillars) working with alcoholics and addicts. She continued to share that same love,
kindness, compassion, understanding and gentleness, as she did with “the little ones,” until her retirement.
In her retirement, she continued on her journey as mentor for Women in Transition at Loretto House and as Spiritual Director for Women in Recovery from addictions. Sharon has stated that “she treasures the blessings God has opened up for her in these ministries.”
Our Founder, Mary Ward, stated that “women will do great things”. Indeed, Sharon is one of these women. Her journey has been one of seeking God’s Will and therein finding peace.
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (Peter 4-10).
–Lorna Hays, IBVM