My Life as a Pilgrim Guide

Blog by Sr. June Fitzgerald, OP
Blog by Sr. June Fitzgerald, OP

I’ve always wanted to be a tour guide. When I was a child I would give imaginary tours of our house and could wax eloquent about the furnishings and various historical events that may have occurred in our house or at least on the grounds where it was built. Of course, all of this was fabrications of an active imagination fueled by the many books I devoured. Rarely did I have any takers, other than my little sister, for such tours.

Instead of becoming a tour guide, I chose to enter the convent and to dedicate my life to God and to the children of God. Today, I am a Vocation Minister and have, in a manner of speaking, become what I am coming to see as a “Pilgrim Guide.”

Job description: Pilgrim Guide
To welcome seekers on the journey of discovering the true direction of God’s Call in their lives. To assist in sifting through the inklings from God, human desires for connection and purpose and to patiently wait for the promptings of the Spirit within the pilgrim (aka “discerner”). Be able to pose prayerfully discerned questions to the pilgrim to help them come to some clarity about their path in life. One must also be able to speak the truth in love, especially when it becomes evident that the pilgrim may be called to another journey in life.

I received my first lesson in becoming a Pilgrim guide 28 years ago. It was during my first visit to our Motherhouse in Philadelphia. I was a few years out of college and was not at all sure about this crazy call I was receiving from God. I was scared and unsure about being trapped here for the whole weekend retreat. When I arrived, I was greeted with a warm hug by a vibrant red headed Sister. She whisked me up to my room and promptly began with, “Let’s sit down and you can tell me all about yourself and how God has called you to be here.” Her effusive nature won me over, my fear vanished and I shared from my heart. She listed and prompted me to get in touch with the depth of God’s love in my life and that yes, perhaps God could call a plain, everyday Catholic girl who went to public school to the Religious Life.

The welcome I received from Sr. Cathy that day has stayed with me ever since. She showed me how to welcome a Pilgrim and to help the other discover the depth of God’s love and to discern the mystery of this Call.

I’m here whenever you’d like to visit.

God calling? Attend our Come and See Discernment Retreat the weekend of March 11-13 at the Motherhouse in Columbus, OH. For more information, Vocations Office.

Through my headphones, “The Deer’s Cry”

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One response to “My Life as a Pilgrim Guide

  1. Such words of wisdom and tenderness, June!
    Can I sign up again? You speak from the
    heart–no wonder a girl/a woman will take it
    to heart and seek more!!
    Cathleen Ryan (Columbus,OH)

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