His Grace Is All You Need
Sister Anna Karol Braun, O.P., Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia

“My Grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor. 12:9
Throughout junior high and high school I would often hear my father ask the question, “Have you ever thought about being a nun?” At first I preferred to ignore the question and continued to dream of the huge family that I was going to have, but the question would not go away. My father persisted in asking me the question over and over again because he could see something in me . . . more


Spencer Howe, Seminarian, Pontifical North American College

Having finished exams at Pontifical North American College and with hearts stirred by the Lord’s invitation to find Him among the poor, Brian Baker (Atlanta ’13) and I embarked in June on a venture of faith that took us deep into the heart of Africa. For four weeks, we eagerly assisted the work of the Missionaries of Charity in Jimma, a small city in the mountains of southwestern Ethiopia. The Missionaries’ center in Jimma provides housing for a few hundred men, women, and c . . . more


My parents would tell us, "You are not ours, you belong to God."
Sister John Paul Marie Spinharney, Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal

In the Testament of St. Francis of Assisi, he frequently used the words "and the Lord gave me..." What did the Lord give him? Gifts. He gave him every good thing, His very life and love. This call, this life is a gift and I am most grateful to our Heavenly Father for it.

"Do something good for your convent." These are the words that Venerable Pope John Paul II spoke to me in a dream when I was very young. What they mean, I am still finding out but when I awoke from that dream I knew . . . more


The Lord has done great things for us
Sister Cecilia Rose Carleton, Sisters of Life

The Lord has done great things for us we are filled with joy! ~Ps. 126:3

It all started when He “knit me in my mother’s womb” & I was born in No Cal,
I grew up knowing that Christ loved me and also that He was my pal!
My parents taught me my faith and many a seed was sown,
And then in high school I decided to make my faith my own!
I chose a college to go to because of a big scholarship and to play volleyball,
But transferred afte . . . more


Their faces shone! I wanted that joy
Fr. Isaac Spinharney, CFR, Franciscan Friars of the Renewal

There was never a time when I did not believe in God, I just didn’t want Him to control my life. Wanting to find my own “way” in life, I bought into the lies of our culture and sought happiness and fulfillment through various types of selfish excess. But years of this lifestyle only rendered me tired, depressed, empty, and purposeless. I knew God created me and had a plan for me and I began to desire to know that plan. Through the encouragement of my parents, I began to seek . . . more


To be poor, to leave everything for the Lord, to read Scripture
Sister Hallel (Verly), Little Sisters of the Lamb, formerly Susan Verly

The Lord gives us desires and He wants to fulfill them.

So, why am I a Religious Sister? Because Jesus loves me and because He wants me to be happy.

I was about ten years old when I first heard the call. It was after going to camp in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, with the Schoenstatt Sisters. In the car with my mother on the way home, I said, “Mom, I think I want to be a Sister.” I remember crying and crying, not because I was sad but because I was sharing the dee . . . more


A voice shall sound in your ears
Sr. Christine Marie Liebsch, Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ

“While from behind, a voice shall sound in your ears: “This is the way; walk in it,” when you would turn to the right or to the left.” (Isaiah 30:21)

When I first realized the Lord may be calling me to be a Sister, I had so many fears: would this mean giving up hopes and dreams of travel, enjoying the out-doors, and confining myself to an unhealthy, unfulfilled, isolated and miserable existence? Yet, even if it were so, I knew I had to keep the childhood pr . . . more


The Task of Preaching
Fr. Andrew McAplin, O.P., The Dominican Friars of the Province of Saint Albert the Great

I am breaking with a tradition of having a guest preacher at my Mass of Thanksgiving in Minnesota. The reason being is that I do not live there and so many of my family and friends will rarely get to hear me preach. I finished a first draft of my homily last night and I will edit it just a little more, but I plan on keeping the content and message just as it is. I went away from the idea that I would give my vocation talk or an inspiring message that might encourage many to seek the Dominican . . . more


Life as a Novice
Ben Anderson, The Jesuits' Wisconsin Province

My name is Ben Anderson, from Chanhassen, Minnesota. I’m 25 yrs old and I graduated from Creighton University. I came from a small family, just my two parents and an older sister and a younger sister.

To get to the novitiate door took a lot. I was really excited throughout college. I had all these other options I could be doing. I had an internship I did the summer before entering the novitiate that I loved and I really wanted to continue it. In my senior year I was really i . . . more


Kristin Peters, Fransican Sisters of Perpetual Adoration

God’s spirit has spoken and drawn me through various life experiences into religious life.
Primarily, I think I have been drawn because I was surrounded by praying people throughout my life. Prayer was their witness to intimacy and dependence upon God and it awoke my own soul’s desire. The routine of the prayer of the rosary and Sunday Mass in my family nurtured the awareness that God is a dependable presence. God’s immanence, on the other hand, was revealed one day vi . . . more


The Lord who is mighty has done great things for me
Fr. Samuel Medley, SOLT, Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity

If you asked me when I was a kid what I thought a happy life would be, I don't think I would say to become a Religious missionary. Yet it is impossible for me to express in human words how happy, peaceful, adventurous, exciting, fulfilled, and satisfying my life is as a Religious missionary. I can truly say with Mother Mary, "the Lord who is mighty has done great things for me" (Lk 1:49).
I was born in Minneapolis where I went to school, graduating from the University of Minnesota. In c . . . more


Not wasting my life, but living it to the full!
Sr. Camela Marie Millan, OP, Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne

"Why would you want to waste your life?" This or something similar was my father's response about 12 years ago when I told my family that I would like to become a Religious.

Ten years later, I came to the US to work as a nurse. I had my own car, my own apartment; I was living the life I had always dreamed of as a young girl back in the Philippines. But the Lord never lets go of those He calls. On my part, what prompted me to finally say "yes" was the realization of God's unconditi . . . more


The Sisters are so joyful!
Sr. Maria Catherine Flicker, Little Sisters of the Poor

“When I grow up I want to be a Sister. I want to help people, old people. I want to love Jesus, God, and Mary very much.”
These words were written when I was eight years old. Little did I realize then that they would come true. My call to the Religious life began at a young age. I grew up in a strong Catholic family in central Minnesota. My parents instilled in me a great love for God and generosity toward others. The first whisperings of a call to Religious life began when . . . more


The openness to going anywhere in the world to serve God exhilarates
Anthony Lusvardi, novice, S.J., Society of Jesus

Tony Lusvardi is a native of Sandstone, Minnesota. He attended high school in St Anthony, Minn. and graduated from Notre Dame University. Later, he worked in Kazakhstan with the Peace Corps. He worked at St John’s University in Collegeville before joining the Jesuits in August 2006. Tony pronounced his vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience in St Paul in August 2008, as he continues his formation to become a Jesuit priest.

“My vocation story is a bit different than t . . . more


I encountered Christ in the resident as she was dying and in the Eucharist
Sr. Rose Cantu, Sr. Rose Veronica LSP, Little Sisters of the Poor

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
I wanted to answer, "a Sister." Those were the first words that came to mind during an interview to volunteer at the Home of the Little Sisters of the Poor in St. Paul. At the time, I was 12 years old and though baptized Catholic I wasn’t raised in the faith. I didn’t know what it meant to be Catholic, what a Sister was, and I thought the laywoman interviewing me would think I was crazy if I said, “a Sist . . . more


Developing a Franciscan spiritual identity
Sr. Eileen McKenzie, FSPA, Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration

Since I began to live as a Franciscan with the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in 1999, I have developed a Franciscan spiritual identity that I believe will continue to evolve throughout my life. This identity is supported and challenged by my Community and they love me as "sister." Living this lifestyle teaches me (on a daily basis) about compassion, patience, humility, poverty, and perseverance through the love, support, sharing, wisdom, and challenges I receive from the relations . . . more


No day is ever ordinary
R.J. Fichtinger, S.J. novice, Society of Jesus

I decided to become a Jesuit after going to several retreats and meeting the Jesuits, particularly at the "Come and See" Weekend at the novitiate. Perhaps more interesting is how I met my first Jesuit.
After feeling like it was time to actively pursue whether or not I was being called to the priesthood, I hit the first place I could think of for information--Google. A few Web pages later and I was at the Society of Jesus Web page and dropped an e-mail to the vocations director. Both he, . . . more


Happiness: allow Christ to do something through me
Sr. Stella Mary Morales, OP, Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne

"What do you want? What is your goal in life?" These were some of the questions our group of young women was asked at the beginning of a discernment process. An immediate answer came to mind: I want to be happy.

I had a very good and happy life. Nothing seemed to be missing; however, I had a longing for something more, something greater. I tried many things to fill that empty space. I got more involved in the Church, did more things with my family and my friends. I was v . . . more


Away from self will
Theresa Clarkin, OSB, Benedictine Sisters, St. Paul's Monastery

As I reflect on my journey, the Holy Spirit was drawing my attention

To my self will and guiding me to God's will.

Much of discerning is truly letting go of my own will, and going through the doors

That God keeps opening, and leaving the ones I try to open.

. . . more


My World Youth Day pilgrimage to Rome and Pope John Paul II
Sr. Karol Marie Zachman, OP, Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia

The Lord’s call did not come in the form of a loud, audible voice but in a quiet, steady tug on my heart that persisted despite my many attempts to brush it aside. Undoubtedly God opened me up to His will through the grace of staying close to the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Reconciliation, as well as through my pilgrimage to Rome in the Jubilee year for World Youth Day. Our late Holy Father, John Paul II, was also instrumental in my vocation, as his own life was a living te . . . more


First time I saw Sisters in habits
Sr. Mara Lester, RSM, Religious Sisters of Mercy

It is God who calls, and we who respond. My vocation has similar threads as with other persons, but when it is actually YOU, it is completely unique, exciting, and something to behold!

I slowly became involved in the Church, the Sacraments, and prayer after a slight hiatus in my youth. There was something not completely tangible, which beckoned for me to pursue this relationship with God, and it eventually led to the knowledge of a religious vocation.

Before my senior . . . more


True peace as a contemplative
Sr. Maria Francesca, PCPA, Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration

Ave Maria!   <script>

“How did you know?” is one of the most common questions when discussing vocations. The response I always got when I asked it myself was, “You just know.” It can be a difficult and confusing time trying
to figure out what God wants of you; there are so many decisions in each day. And then to think in terms of the rest of your life!

I wasn’t really open to a religious vocation until my first year at . . . more


Prayer and a more monastic Community was right for me
Sr. Joanna O'Meara, VHM, The Visitation Sisters of Holy Mary

“We are companions on the journey, given to one another as helpers in doing God’s work.”
St. Jane de Chantal.

This quote, from the Founder of our Order, the Visitation Sisters of Holy Mary, sums up how  my own journey unfolded as I first began to discern Religious life about ten years ago. My first experience of Community came when I graduated from college and decided to volunteer for a year. I was part of a group of men and women who committed to . . . more


Sisters who changed my life at the Institute for Religious
Sr. Mary Kathleen Roth, SCMC, Sister of Charity of Our Lady Mother of the Church

My Second Grade teacher, Mrs. Allard, had instilled in me a deep Faith in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. When I received Jesus in my First Holy Communion, I experienced an inward Call from Him to be His, but I didn’t know at the time that He would one day call me to be His bride in religious life.

It wasn’t until after college that I found I was yearning for “something more” in my life. I started praying fervently to Our Lady to direct . . . more


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