On August 22, the feast of the Queenship of Mary, we welcomed our new, radiant Postulants! As we recall our Lady’s “fiat” in response to God’s call to her, we praise God for the “yes” each of these young ladies has given to the Father’s invitation.
I grew up in northern Virginia as the oldest of ten children in a loving Catholic family. A blessing in my life that introduced the idea of religious life was a discernment camp organized in the Arlington Diocese called Fiat. The camp featured days for high school girls to spend time to get to know religious sisters from different orders from all over the country. Being a camper and counselor for many years at Fiat opened my eyes to the beauty and joys of religious life. I spent many years in high school and after visiting religious communities and developing my prayer life, as any happily lived vocation thrives on a relationship with Christ. I had a deep desire to give myself totally to the Lord and in this radical way as a bride of Christ. I didn’t know where or when but after several years of discernment, visiting religious orders, dating, going to college, and teaching, the Lord brought me to the Dominicans in Ann Arbor. The Lord captivated my heart and brought much love for the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist. God knows the details and desires of your heart! He will not be outdone in generosity; do not be afraid to be honest and surrender everything to Him!
“Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, His mercy endures forever” (Ps 118:1). I am blessed to have been given a loving, Catholic family and to understand life as a gift from God through their example. While attending Catholic high school, I grew in relationship with Christ, and witnessed the beauty of authentic Christian life. As Jesus drew me closer to Himself in the Sacraments and faith formation, I encountered Him in the Dominican Sisters teaching at my high school and desired the freedom, peace and joy that radiates from their total self-gift to Him. I went on to attend Franciscan University of Steubenville for a year where I met the Community and was given the grace to joyfully trust in His plan for my life. It will be my joy to ask Our Lord how He has planned for me to love and serve Him from all eternity, now as a Dominican Sister of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, by adoring Him in the Most Blessed Sacrament and under the guidance of Our Blessed Mother! I am most grateful to God for calling and sustaining me and to my family, clergy and religious, friends and Church community for their prayers and love for me as I begin this next step in the journey to Heaven with, through and in Christ.
Praised be Jesus Christ! The Lord’s Merciful Love is so good! I have always found religious life attractive, particularly the witness of the beautiful habit! Even though I only knew a few Sisters growing up, I’ve always wanted to be a Sister even though I didn’t know to the extent which that meant: being a bride of Christ! As God has brought me here today, I encountered many people, places, and experiences that led me to be able to take this next step in my discernment process. I must say that it is from him that I have received the graces to encounter these and conquer difficulties along the way, and because of these graces, I have been able to do his work, to love and serve others, and to him in which I give it all back to! I am thankful for all the formation I have received throughout my life so far, particularly from my family, priests, and the Sisters I have grown up loving: The Missionaries of the Word. But most of all, I thank my Father and Mother in Heaven! I am praying for all of you! Please keep me in your prayers! May we all continue to grow closer to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, to become fully united with him!
I was raised in a devout Catholic family and was taught by religious sisters in grade school. However, I had never considered religious life myself until after a powerful encounter with Christ in 8th grade at a Steubenville conference. From that day, I yearned for our Lord more and more, and began to open my heart to the possibility of a vocation. For a few summers during college, I was a Totus Tuus missionary for the Archdiocese of St. Louis; it was there that my desire deepened. I loved how everything we did each day was totally centered in Christ, and I longed to live my entire life like this. In the spring of 2022, I had been on a few discernment retreats and felt that this was where God was calling me, yet I was apprehensive to apply. Around the same time, I applied and was accepted to a Master’s degree program in my home town. I had a week to accept the offer. After agonizing over whether to accept the spot or enter the convent, I decided on the Master’s program because it was the more comfortable option… unless God told me differently. That night, I flipped to a spot in the Gospels and it happened to be Luke 9:58-60 “He said to another man, ‘Follow me.’ But he replied, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.’” I took this as a clear sign to mean, “Don’t put it off, come follow me now!”
The earliest memory of a tug towards religious life was shortly after my first communion when my mom introduced me to a group of young Chaldean Sisters. That tug came back periodically during middle school and late high school. After high school, I went to Michigan State University. There I grew in my prayer and sacramental life while being surrounded by the most inspiring Catholic friends. In this environment, I again felt that burning tug even deeper than ever. It kept coming back no matter how hard I tried to avoid it. I felt a calling for more, for religious life, but was scared. Eventually, I realized I had to do something about this, so I talked to my priest, Fr. Mike Cassar, and began trying to decipher what the Lord was doing in my heart and what His will might be. I went on a vocation retreat at the Lansing Mission where I had a profound encounter in adoration and was struck by the joy of the Sisters. The next school year I began going to Sunday Vespers and got to know the Lansing Sisters more while I continued to discern and to conform my desires with His. After tons of prayer, especially time with the Eucharist, I realized the Lord was asking me to live this life and that this was a good life. A life I want to, can, and should live. All the tugs I had felt on my heart led me here and I had great peace. As a Junior in college I didn’t know how this decision would play out. In God’s perfect plan He opened all the doors for me to finish my degree and be able to enter this summer. He took care of all my needs!
I am from Columbus, Ohio, and met the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist when they began their mission at St. Michael the Archangel in Worthington. I saw their joy, but didn’t know if what drew me was joy itself, or if I was called to live their particular joy in marriage to Him. But I pushed this question to the back of my mind as I was rather young. Time passed, I took a lifeguarding class summer of freshman year and from then on I knew that I wanted to serve those around me, especially when they were most in need. Consequently, once I graduated high school, I enrolled in nursing school at Franciscan University. After graduation I moved to Pennsylvania and began my first year of work in a NICU. This beautiful opportunity, along with being away from family and friends, opened up my life; I saw my lack of silence and my need for more time with the Lord. In my newfound silence I wanted to attend First and Final Vows with the Sisters, as I had in the past with my family. With some not-so-gentle help from the (a few) Sisters and St. Mary Magdalene, realization dawned that I had no reason to hold back. My earlier question resurfaced. One morning in Holy Mass, after I returned home, Jesus showed me how my prayers had changed, that instead of asking Him to show me His Will I was instead begging Him to let me be one of His brides! I was telling Him I needed to love and serve Him in a special way that could only be done through marriage to Him! He showed me what I was asking, and how I would be serving His children which I had desired long ago.