A Sister of Many Talents: Sr. Tanya Johnson, O.C.D.
Tatiana or Tanya Johnson was born on July 6th, in Berkeley, CA. to the parents, Walter Johnson and Susan Harris . She was the first-born of eight surviving gifted children. Her family with five boys, worked creatively in outdoor projects which gave Sr. Tanya experience in gardening, landscaping and more recently bee-keeping. She tends our hives of bees with devotion and has produced honey of the best quality for our use.
Tanya from the age of six had a religious and missionary spirit which moved her to desire the consecrated life. Though she frequently went to daily Mass with her mother at a nearby Carmel, she first spent some time with the Maryknoll Sisters before coming to Carmel of the Assumption in Latrobe, PA. in 1962.
When she arrived in Latrobe, she immediately used her skills to help clear some of the grounds near our entrance, cutting trees, removing cement work and planting bushes. Sr. Tanya enjoys working outdoors and providing us with food from a large vegetable and fruit garden, but that work is only a portion of her contribution to our community life. She has great devotion to Our Blessed Mother and skillfully makes Rosaries to sell in our store. Formerly she engaged in artwork for which she is also talented. Sr. Tanya painted the images of the Way of the Cross which are hanging in our Chapel and used for Lenten devotions of the Stations.
Sr. Tanya’s indoor work in the monastery has been packing Altar Breads which we formerly baked but now distribute to our Diocesan parishes and to other parishes in nearby States. Her times of cooking for the community bring forth delicious new recipes, the fruits of her creativity. There seems to be no end to her interests and the abilities God has given her in so many creative ways.
Other interests Sr. Tanya has had for many years are archeology and genealogy, most likely influenced by her mother who shared the same fields of interest. Sr. Tanya has retrieved much data regarding the Johnson and Harris families. She also has a small collection of archeological artifacts.
We are blessed with a very gifted Sister whose work in community covers many fields. As we celebrate these fifty years of Sr. Tanya’s profession as a Carmelite, we give thanks to God who has graced her with a call to prayer and service to which she has been faithful and continues to flourish in many ways. Her fidelity to God and to our Queen of Carmel is manifest in her generosity and self-giving love.
We celebrate God’s infinite mercy in giving Sr. Tanya 50 years of profession as a Carmelite Nun. With a public celebration of the Eucharist in August followed by a reception, we join her in offering thanks to God and in praising God’s goodness to her and to our community. May Sr. Tanya have many more joyous and fruitful years ahead, all to the glory of God!