Faith & Life


By SR. DIANE HEISS, SDSH     4/16/2024

What is faithfulness?

At times, our society seems to have lost sight of it. Some couples who vow faithfulness at their wedding tragically break that promise through an affair or divorce. Persons in leadership roles swearing to uphold the duties of their office all too often forget their promise in favor of personal benefit. On the other hand, we see shining examples of couples married for 60 or 70 years now faithfully taking care of each other in their declining years and working couples caring for their aging parents as well as raising their own children.

The saying “like father, like son” or “like mother, like daughter,” having its roots in ancient Greek and Latin literature, means that frequently children resemble their parents in behavior, character, personality, or physical traits.

We are God’s beloved daughters and sons, created in God’s image and likeness. If we wonder: “Where does faithfulness come from?” the answer is that it comes from God, and is an attribute of God, which God delights in sharing with us. Even though we human beings, wounded by original and personal sin, are often unable to be faithful, GOD IS ALWAYS FAITHFUL. In the Bible, the prophet Jeremiah speaks of God’s faithfulness when God proclaims, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued my mercy/ faithfulness to you (Jer. 31).” When we are faithful, it is not so much that we are great, outstanding, or wonderful, but rather that we have asked for and been open to God’s graces of faithfulness.

I would like to take this opportunity to briefly share three incidents of faithfulness which I have experienced within the past few weeks. On Saturday, March 16, our community, the Society Devoted to the Sacred Heart (SDSH) celebrated the Jubilee of Religious Profession for five of our Sisters: Sr. Catherine Miller – 60 years; Sr. Frances Kennedy and myself – 50 years; Sr.
Adriane Torrisi (and Sr. Ann Wong serving in Taiwan) – 25 years; as well as the renewal of religious profession of Sr. Charis Kwon and Sr. Vivian Sun. It was a day of great rejoicing as, surrounded by family and friends, we renewed our vows, knowing that it is God who has helped us to be faithful until now, and who will help us to be faithful in the future. Just two weeks later, on Easter Sunday,
our Sr. Carmen Acosta died less than five months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She was faithful to God in her 56 years of religious life, and faithful in death, wanting only “whatever
God wills.” Our Sr. Hermine Jaschko, first companion of our foundress, Sr. Ida Peterfy, will be 105 in May, and has been a member of our community for well over 80 years.

When people ask any of us how we can be faithful for such a long time, it is the same answer that faithful spouses, faithful parents, and faithful friends will give: it is with the grace of God.


 Use your device’s search bar to look up Biblical citations for faithfulness and fidelity.
 Ask God to grant you the grace of faithfulness and do your best to cooperate with this virtue in your daily life.
 Talk with priests and/or religious, and ask them to share about their vocation, and how they knew God was calling them.
 Visit relatives and/or friends who have been faithful in marriage or positions of service and ask them to share what they learned throughout their lives that helped them to be faithful.
 Pray for and send notes of encouragement to priests whom you know, and to those who are faithfully living their vocation to married life, religious life or single life.