When I made my first profession of vows, I had no idea what adventures, blessings, challenges and changes I would experience. I knew that God was calling me to embrace life as a vowed Dominican Sister and I sung my “Yes” with gusto. Today, as I celebrate my 25th Jubilee (counting from my first profession), I am overwhelmed with wonder and gratitude for all that has been. God has been so good to me and has surrounded me with faithful companions on the journey to challenge me, support me, guide me, and accompany me while calling me to greater faithfulness. It is to these faithful companions that I dedicate this blog.
You see, we do not do this journey alone. The call I received was an individual call, but it was one to be lived in community. My community can be defined as being local, regional, and congregational and can consist of five, fifteen or four hundred and sixty-five sisters. Always it has been intergenerational, and most of the time it has been multicultural, and on a few occasions, it has been inter-congregational (meaning several different congregations living together). As I look back on the sisters I have lived with, what stands out the most is that we have been and are family.
When I was discerning religious life, one of the questions I faced was, “What would it be like not having a family of my own?” I never asked myself, “What would it be like to have a religious family of sisters?” My vision was too small and I did not even know it. This week, as I have been opening and reading my Jubilee cards from my sisters and friends, I have been reminded of the many women who have shared my life along the way–those I know well and those who I do not know well, but I love just the same. The reading from Colossians comes to mind, “In my prayers I always thank God for you.” (paraphrase of Col 1:3a)
I am continuing to read my cards – alternating between laughter, tears, sweet memories, and longing for the presence of some who have passed onto God. (Sr. Mary Carmel, I know you are dancing in heaven.) I am writing my thank you cards and with each one, I pause and say a prayer for that person. Near or far, we are united in God.
Are you hearing a call to religious life? Have you asked the question, “How will it be not to have a family of my own?” Maybe the question really should be, “What will it be like to have a religious family of sisters?” Come and See! Consider attending our next discernment retreat here or contact one of us to begin the conversation.