OCTOBER 2004: SISTER JAMESINE LAMB
From a young age, Sister Jamesine Lamb, O.S.F. was drawn to reaching out to the less fortunate. Similar to the ways of St. Francis, she had the desire to show compassion for the poor, the outcast, and the oppressed, and she continues in that service today.
Sister Jamesine said that her "parents nurtured the seeds of vocation to religious life all along." She first learned about the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis from her older sister, Sister Mary Evelyn Lamb, O.S.F., who became a postulant of the Hospital Sisters when Sister Jamesine was a freshman in high school. "I did not want to be a teacher, and I was attracted to the health care ministry of this Congregation," she added. "I also learned that the Sisters did home nursing with low income people and that appealed to me," she said. As a child she would read in magazines about the very poor in Appalachia and wanted to go minister with them.
Experiencing Religious Life Through the Notre Dame Sisters
As the ninth child of twelve, she grew up in Aud, Missouri and attended a one-room rural grade school until it closed after she finished the sixth grade. "All the students were then bused into town for education, and I later attended the Catholic school taught by Notre Dame Sisters," she explained. The bus that drove them to school also transported the women who worked in the town factory. Since these women worked later than the children’s school schedule, Sister Jamesine and her sister, Jane Marie, would do errands for the Sisters at the convent. "We got to know them well and were attracted to their commitment to God and way of life," she explained.
"Jane Marie and I were both in the same grade so after graduation, we went to the city to work and experience another way of life," Sister Jamesine said. Five years later, Jane Marie decided to join Sister Mary Evelyn as a Hospital Sister. "I was still undecided and even had a boyfriend," she explained. "I was attracted to family life as well as religious life," she said. A few months later she visited her sisters at the convent and shortly after "realized that God was calling me to the religious life also."
She entered the Community in 1955 and professed her final vows in 1962. She graduated from St. John’s School of Nursing and received a Bachelor's Degree from St. Louis University.
Great Reward Found in Work With Dialysis Patients
"In my life as a religious, I have had the opportunity for a variety of ministries," Sister Jamesine said. One of her most satisfying was working as a nurse with patients on kidney dialysis. "Since most of the patients came for four to six hour treatments three times weekly, I got to know and experience them and the nurses as family," she explained.
When she left dialysis, she went to Peoria where the Hospital Sisters were beginning a new mission to the poor. "I lived and ministered in the inner city," she said. "I would go with another Sister into the homes to get to know the people and either help with or advocate for their needs," she added.
Her assignments have taken her to St. Nicholas Hospital, Sheboygan, Wisconsin; St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Belleville, Illinois; and she has served in several positions at the Motherhouse in Springfield, Illinois.
In her present ministry, Sister Jamesine works at St. Clare’s Health Clinic through Catholic Charities of Springfield, Illinois – an organization established to provide for those who cannot afford health care.
"I am grateful for the opportunities this way of life has given me to reach out to those who are less fortunate and have my life enriched by sharing with them," she concluded.