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Sister Taryn Ruth Stark professes perpetual vows

August 14, 2015
Liz Dossa

Sister Taryn Ruth Stark professed perpetual vows as a Sister of Mercy on July 11 in Mercy Chapel, Burlingame. Mercy Sister Deborah Troillett, a member of the Sisters of Mercy Institute Leadership Team witnessed the rite. Father Richard Menatsi, executive director, Inter-Regional Meeting of the Bishops of Southern Africa was principal celebrant of the Mass with many sisters, associates, friends and family in the assembly. Sister Taryn joins 3,100 sisters in the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.

“We rejoice with Sister Taryn as she commits through this perpetual profession of vows to centering her life on God,” said Mercy Sister Laura Reicks, president, Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community. “Her many gifts and deep commitment to her call are a witness to God’s presence in her life. We are happy that she will journey with us as a Sister of Mercy.”

Sister Taryn grew up a regular visitor to the Burlingame motherhouse when her mom, Ruth, who worked in Africa and Fiji with the World Health Organization would come to rest there between missionary trips. “She saw the Mercy motherhouse in Burlingame as a home base and frequently visited sisters who were friends of hers there,” the sisters said.

Sister Taryn attended high school in Africa, the South Pacific and Europe later graduating from Whittier College in Southern California, She then returned to South Africa working as a finance officer for the South African Bishops Conference. She met priests and sisters she admired, and religious life began to call her.

Later, working as a certified public accountant in Maryland, she searched the Sisters of Mercy: “I went to a web link that invited me, ‘Come and See for ages 18 to 40!’” Sister Taryn said. “It was a huge thing – not just a light bulb, but a huge stadium lighting up, knowing I can still do this. I went through the discernment process, but I knew at that moment.”

As she considered Burlingame “home,” Sister Taryn entered religious life there making temporary profession in 2012 and serving at Mercy High School, San Francisco in roles including registrar.

“Choosing religious life is a mutual decision,” Sister Taryn said. “The community and I are both saying ‘yes,’ and there is continued discernment along the way

As part of her ministry at Mercy, San Francisco, Sister Taryn talks with students: “I love spending time with them,” she says. “I tell them, ‘Find your passion!’ I’m trying to open their minds to try different things. Be adventurous! I help young women know that religious life is a road open to them. They can have the freedom to be centered in Christ and be a light for others.”

Sister Taryn is delighted to finally be home in her Mercy community and says the timing couldn’t be better. “Pope Francis has called on religious to ‘Wake up the world!’” she said. “What a wonderful time when you have a leader who is calling you! It gives me energy! I’m passionate about being a Sister of Mercy.”

Dossa is communications manager for the Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community.

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