Forgiveness – wisdom from Sr. Carmelita Smisek

Back in the years of my growing up, it was a custom in our parish church to have confession for children at 3:00 p.m. and for adults at 7:00 p.m. The following happened many years ago when I was seven.

Mom and dad were getting ready to go to confession. I heard dad say, “Ann you go on to church, I need to ask my brother Anton for forgiveness. I wasn’t very nice to him the other day.” At age seven, I didn’t realize what all that meant. But, as I grew older, I realized I had experienced one of the greatest lessons of life from my parents – the importance of asking forgiveness face to face. They were a very faith-filled simple couple with deep wisdom.

This particular experience had a profound, lasting effect on me. Throughout my years of living in Community, in my ministry of teaching, and in the day-to-day encounters with others, deeply embedded within my spirit is the witness of dad’s asking forgiveness because he didn’t treat his brother respectfully. This reminds me often of the importance of forgiveness. Through my 94 years of life, I have had many opportunities to say, “I’m sorry.” It wasn’t always easy to say this. However, God in His goodness and love, was always there with me to remind me to love my neighbor as myself.

~ Sr. Carmelita Smisek, 2018

Sister Carmelita Smisek, a Notre Dame Sister for 72 years, died at Immanuel Fontenelle in Omaha, NE, on Sunday, December 29th, 2019. She was 95 years of age. Read more about her here.