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Sister Romana Rohmer knows St. Michael watches over her

Holy Angels have been protecting Benedictine sisters since they first traveled to America

Published: October 5, 2021   
Sister Glorea Knaggs
A holy angel statue sits in prayer at Holy Angels Convent in Jonesboro Sept. 30. The convent got its name after the sisters traveling from Europe prayed to the holy angels for safe passage during a storm.

On the inside of Benedictine Sister Romana Rohmer’s bedroom door hangs an image of St. Michael the Archangel, “as high as it goes,” she said. 

“He’s watching everything that goes on in this room,” she said, adding that the prayer to St. Michael is intertwined in her spirituality. “There isn’t a day that goes by that I don't invoke the help of St. Michael the Archangel.” 

Her life in Christ, but also as a religious sister the past 71 years, has been protected by Holy Angels. 

“The sisters always said your guardian angel is sitting next to you on your desk and watching you and keeping the slate of the good and bad deeds you do. That was a bit fearful,” she admits, but said the Olivetan Benedictine teachers of her youth were “the best ones in the world.” 

“There isn’t a day that goes by that I don't invoke the help of St. Michael the Archangel.” - Benedictine Sister Romana Rohmer

“As I grew up, I found out that God was a loving father and that angels were keeping all the good records and overlooking the bad ones,” she added. 

Sister Romana said the Holy Angels have been protecting her and her fellow sisters since the beginning. In the 1800s, the sisters traveled to America, crossing the Atlantic from Europe. 

“There was a terrible storm that arose. They were fearful, but they prayed to the Holy Angels for protection,” she said. “After they arrived in America, they said we are here because the Holy Angels brought us to this homeland safely.” 

When the sisters moved from Pocahontas to Jonesboro in 1898, the convent was named and dedicated to Holy Angels, Sister Romana said. 

Today, the sisters pull out all the stops annually on their feast day, Oct. 2, Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels, with Mass, angel decorations and fellowship. 

Sister Romana said Guardian Angels are a special gift from God. 

“I think that’s such a beautiful story, my angel has been with me from day one,” she said. “That has such a living presence. I just feel like my angel is here to help me.”

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