A Fond Farewell to S. Jean Paul Selissen

 Watch the Province Leadership honor S. Jean Paul Selissen at her retirement celebration.

S. Jean Paul Selissen, An Unlikely Accountant
by Madeleine Reilly

S. Jean Paul Selissen thought her life work would be in education…especially religious education.  As the saying goes if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.

The need arose for help in the Finance Department due to the complicated growth of finance work in the early 1990s.  S. Jean Paul, who believes one of her greatest gifts is organization.  She was interviewed, accepted for the position and began work in the finance department in February 1993. Having no “official” accounting background, she began by learning the ins and outs of the central checking system (which was the accounting system for the local houses).  S. Jean Paul believes this was her greatest accomplishment.  “Many sisters have had a fear of having to deal with finances in their local units. I believe my greatest accomplishment was to bring an approachable friendly face to lessen the fear of dealing with finances.”

She was proactive in researching Social Security benefits for sisters who were not receiving them because they were elderly when the CSJ first bought into the system. She was also proactive in working on benefits for qualified Medicare beneficiaries and was able to enroll many sisters.  The last daunting project she under took, was Medicare D.  The mounds of paperwork involved did not sway her from the daunting task of enrollment for the sisters.

While she didn’t think she would have stayed this long in finance, her position “kept on evolving. " As S. Jean Paul said, “Lots of things that have occurred since I started."  The greatest change was the exponential growth of the computer.  So much paperwork was originally needed to generate reports and reconciling accounts.  The accounting process has been streamlined, by the unfathomable amounts of information stored and easily accessed for reporting purposes.

In her remaining days in the Finance Department, she has returned to “teaching”…teaching others to do the skills she developed beginning in 1993.   When asked what she will miss most when she leaves finance?  Her reply, “That’s easy, the people.”

What’s next for S. Jean Paul?  She said, “Everyone wants to know that." In the immediate future she will be working on projects for herself and at her house.  She plans on spending time with her family.  She will take her exceptional organizational skills with her as she follows the calling that is leading her to something connected with the immigration issues; mentoring, tutoring or  perhaps some sort of advocacy work.

<< Back to News

Change Text Size   A|  A|  A