Current ministry:Coordinator of Liturgical Music

Years in the Congregation:35

Contact Sister Lisa at: lstallin@spsmw.org

Favorite food: Vegetables

Favorite book: Whatever I’m reading at the moment.

Favorite movie: Wizard of Oz

Favorite TV show: Iron Chef America

Favorite vacation spot: Cedar Point amusement park, the roller coaster capital

Least favorite course in school: Calculus

Worst movie I’ve ever seen: Plan 9 From Outer Space

Q: Why did you choose to become a Sister of Providence?

A: I was taught by the Sisters of Providence in high school and in college, particularly at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. I was inspired by individuals whom I knew who were strong women and women devoted to prayer. I thought about religious life and I thought about the Sisters of Providence. I didn’t even really consider any other congregation.

Q: What prompted you to think about religious life?

A: That’s a mystery to me. It was a sense that I had. This was a way for me to be faithful. When I didn’t expect to be thinking about it, I found myself thinking about it. When I tried not to think about it, I found myself thinking about it. Eventually, I came to an understanding that I would have to investigate it if I was going to be honest with myself.

We’re not all the same. … Within our diversity, I think there is a great deal of strength.
– Sister Lisa

Q: Why would a woman today find being a Sister of Providence an attractive life opportunity?

A: I think they would find it attractive because we are really united around the mission. We are supportive of one another in our mission; the mission, of course, promoting love, mercy and justice. Anyone who has a sense of dedication to mission, I think, would find like-minded people and people who are supportive in the process. It’s a gift to be able to come together with other sisters, and stay together, live together and work together. We’re not all the same. It’s not a lock-step sort of thing. Within our diversity, I think there is a great deal of strength. The gifts that I don’t have someone else will have, and I can share.

Q: What do you value most about your ministry opportunities?

A: I love teaching and to be able work with young people who grow in maturity and have success. I taught for a number of years at Providence-St. Mel in Chicago. We taught many students who were the first in their families to pursue any kind of education. Certainly, in many cases, they were the first in their family to go to college. And to see young people really struggling to be successful, and to be able to provide them with support was really exciting to me. I enjoy helping people learn and figuring out ways to help people get the knowledge that they want and need. Now that I am here at the Woods, I am really very grateful for the opportunity to worship with the community and being in the midst of such fidelity. I have always been struck by the model of faithfulness that is alive here.

Q: What role does prayer have in your life?

A: I know that my prayer with the community and with those whom I live is very important. Especially, liturgical prayer is central to my being here. My personal time of prayer kind of keeps me in balance, what ever balance there is in my life. The form of prayer that is most my own is music-making. Music is never a chore to me. It is my profession, but it is never work. The high point of my day is to be able to get to the organ. The prayer aspect of music-making is a highlight. It’s fun, too, but it is how I pray.

Q: What is your fondest childhood memory?

A: I loved the dinner table. We all had dinner together every night. There were a lot of us. Each of us had a turn to speak. When we sat down at the table, Mother and Dad would talk about what had happened in their days. Then we would go around the table and each child would come up with something important that happened to them that day. You didn’t have to fight for the floor to say what you wanted to say and others would respond to it. It was kind of like being called upon in class, except that it was your family. I learned a lot at the table.

Q: What gives you hope?

A: I’ve had the opportunity to be around people with great consistency in their lives who can make the best of a bad situation, who can transform their surroundings and situations they are in for the better and who are willing to work to transform other people for the better. I’m always aware of the goodness of people.

Q: Any favorite vacation spots?

A: Every summer I spend time going on a rollercoaster tour. It’s my absolute favorite thing to do on vacation. There’s a great park in Sandusky, Ohio. That’s my favorite spot. I go by myself and spend a day and go from one rollercoaster to the next until I have ridden them all. Then I get in my car and go home. I know that people probably think I am insane
because I stand in line by myself and the kids are saying, “Who is that white-haired woman?” It’s like my shadow self or something. You’re totally out of control. It’s very freeing for me. I love to do it and I do it every year.

Favorites

Pizza topping: Mushrooms

Holiday: Thanksgiving

Dessert: Bread pudding

Time of day: Putting my head on the pillow

Season: Spring

Childhood activity: Playing with plastic cowboy figures

Hero/heroine: Dorothy Day

Course in school: American literature or music theory

Saint: Mother Theodore, of course; next, Cecilia

Recreation: Playing music

Sport: Football

Animal: Cat