National Catholic Reporter
The Independent Newsweekly
Issue Date:  December 12, 2003

At home with Jesus

Sr. Susan Steines
-- Photos by P. Lefevere

Sr. Louise Rahe is a Chicago Cubs fan. After catching a game on the radio, it’s not hard for her to spend time in the Chapel of Adoration here instead of going to bed. Rahe has taken the 11 p.m.-midnight prayer shift every Tuesday and Wednesday and the noon-12:30 p.m. slot once a week for six years. At 84, she said, “I’m still a night owl.”

Her partner each Wednesday night was Sr. Susan Steines, 87. Steines greeted midnight in the chapel three nights weekly and was there from 9-9:30 a.m. every day. “I look forward to these six and a half hours each week,” Steines said. “He attracts me very much. I feel I can be at home with him,” she said of her vigil with Jesus.

Sr. Louise Rahe

Rahe was an educator and principal 52 years in Wisconsin and Iowa and worked 10 years in the La Crosse diocesan education office. Steines taught several decades in Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and Washington state, and then worked in St. Rose’s cafeteria.

Steines said she was grateful that she can bring the cares of the world into the chapel and pray for them. “I can feel exhausted when I go in and yet so relieved when I come out,” she noted. The key to adoration is “not concentrating. It’s opening yourself to the Spirit and letting the Spirit take you where you need to go.”

Rahe said she has seen many instances of prayers being answered after a visit to the chapel. She does not call them miracles, but an extension of the gifts of adoration.

Rahe and other sisters who pray in the chapel have included in their adoration a prayer for peace written by Benedictine Sr. Joan Chittister at the outbreak of the war with Iraq last spring. For weeks the sisters also prayed for George Bush and Saddam Hussein every hour, continuing the peace-making tradition of their founder, St. Francis.

Editor’s note: Sr. Susan Steines died Nov. 17 after a brief illness.

-- Patricia Lefevere

National Catholic Reporter, December 12, 2003

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