It’s a small world, after all!

It’s amazing how we connect with people. We believe it’s the Holy Spirit at work.

Such an example is the friendship between Sister Marilyn Hoover and Laura Chelgren.

The two met in 2020 when Laura participated in the Nun Run, our annual fall fundraiser for our HIV/AIDS and Ursuline Preschool & Kindergarten children’s ministries.

Laura, who lives in Punxsutawney, Pa., ran virtually and picked the option of running in honor of a Sister. She was matched with Sister Marilyn, to whom she sent a Christmas card.

The two exchanged phone numbers and their friendship has blossomed since.

“It makes me feel very good,” says Sister Marilyn, who’s originally from Altoona, Pa.

“One time I told her about how when I was little, we went to our lady of Lourdes church. It had all these steps. I can still see it,” Sister Marilyn recalls. “She brought it up on the computer, and said, ‘I see it.’ It was amazing!”

The two enjoy sharing stories of their lives and listening to the other’s experience. Of course, when you think of Punxsutawney…

“When she came to see me she brought me a little stuffed groundhog. I pulled him out to give the weather Feb. 2, and mine was better than the one we got from Phil,” Sister Marilyn laughs.

Sister Marilyn got to meet Laura’s mom, Nancy, when they visited the Motherhouse for the 2021 Nun Run.

“I teased Laura and said, ‘When you run, I’m coming with you — but I’ll be like a turtle,’” Sister Marilyn jokes, noting Laura did very well, coming in third place for her age group.

The friendship may seem unlikely, since Sister Marilyn will be 90 this June and Laura is in her 20s, but the two find much in common. Laura greatly appreciates her friendship with Sister Marilyn, and says, deciding to participate in that first Nun Run “has brought me nothing but joy!”