Sister Johanna Choi, OSB, came to Sacred Heart Monastery in December of 1999. She grew up in Korea in a family with five brothers and one sister. After a period of twenty-three years in a cloistered monastery in Korea, she traveled to Avila, Spain, to study spirituality. It was during this period that Sister Johanna decided to make a change. She was encouraged by a priest to move to the United States. Sister believes that our lives are a mystery, always in the hands of God. And so, she moved to a position in a New Jersey parish.
While Sister Johanna was is Chicago she read an article about Sacred Heart Monastery and their stained glass windows. She spoke to a community member, Sister Christine Kouba, OSB, and learned more about Benedictine life, and their spirituality and core values. This was the place where she could be involved and minister to the elderly religious. Sister Christine invited her to come to Lisle and help out in the infirmary.
Sister Johanna has had a rich life here since then, often the last to sit with a dying Sister and able to share the peaceful journey to eternal life.
Sister Johanna made her first profession in 2002 and her final profession on December 9, 2006. She spends time at the monastery sewing and helping with housework. She also assists in the sacristy and works on various liturgy responsibilities.
Sister Johanna loves the opportunity to get to know her new neighbors at Villa St. Benedict. She sees a great hunger for spirituality and she enjoys sharing with her new friends the history of special feast days and stories of the saints. And of the renovated monastery, Sister reflects, “It is wonderful. Just beautiful. So quiet! It helps you reflect on God’s love.”