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How I Made Over My Retirement

Aug 15, 2011
Cecilia Harriendorf
courtesy of Cecilia HarrIendorf
Cecilia Harriendorf, 67
Bronx, New York

Before:Television producer
After:Nun with Sisters of Charity

Her Journey
After 30 years as a producer of a spiritual public affairs show, Cecilia Harriendorf was looking forward to putting up her feet in retirement.

But once retirement began, Cecilia, 52 at the time, found herself with "a gnawing sense that there was something else I ought to be doing." She had always been involved in the Catholic Church, so she began working as a religion teacher at her local parish. Once there, she decided to add to her knowledge by getting a master's degree in theology. During her last year of study, she became the religious education director at a parish in a neighboring town. A friend there invited her to a "day of reflection" with the Sisters of Charity at their convent in nearby Scarsdale, New York. "What struck me was their prayer life," she says. "I had never seen the nuns praying together. This was a whole other aspect of women living as a community, and I liked that." She started visiting the convent once a week, eventually deciding to become a nun.

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"I remember sitting in my car outside their convent, my heart pounding in my chest," she says of the day she decided to become a novitiate. "I said to myself, 'You could just drive away now and no one would be the wiser.' But I would know." She began training in 2001, when she was 57, and became a full-fledged nun at 64.

Sister Ceil, as she is now known, is currently the director of campus ministry at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, New York, where she oversees student community service and spiritual programs. "When I retired, I think instinctively I knew that we retire from things but also to things. To be doing this at this point in my life is a wonderful gift."

Sister Ceil's Makeover Tips

Give yourself time to think
Take some time—walk or meditate—to really evaluate your next step. "It's healthy and holy to step back and reflect upon your life and career."

When in doubt, educate yourself
"If you're not sure what you should do, take a class, read up on a topic or talk to people.






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Date: 12.12.2018, 21:22 / Views: 53143