On August 22, the feast of Queenship of Mary, we welcomed our new radiant Postulants!
As we recall our Lady’s “fiat” to God’s call to her, we praise God for each of these young lady’s “yes” to the Father’s invitation.
I knew Religious Life was an option since I was little. I first learned about the Dominican Sisters of Mary around eighth grade, when my mom sent me a link to their website, and I simply could not brush off a strong attraction to them. Around that time, I began to seriously discern my Vocation in response to a subtle but persistent tugging at my heart which I at first tried to ignore. Later, during Eucharistic Adoration I heard Christ in my heart asking if I loved Him enough to give my life to Him. For a while after, in His Eucharistic presence, I continued to ask the question, “What is it You desire for me?” Fr. Jonathan Raia, the Vocations Director, suggested I reach out to the Community. I did, and attended two of their retreats, one in Texas and the other in Michigan. There I prayerfully realized that this is what God’s love intended for me all along! After being accepted into the Community in my senior year of high school, I spent the remaining time preparing my heart for my Vocation, and echoing Our Lady’s “Fiat” to God, to give my life to Christ as His bride.
I had always felt an inkling of a call to Religious Life, but for many years was too afraid to even consider making such a leap. But as my relationship with God grew, my desire for intimate union with Him grew as well, and by junior year of high school, I knew there could be no other path that would satisfy me than Religious Life. I began researching Communities and fell in love with the Dominican spirituality. About a month later, after a novena offered to St. Joseph for my Vocation, Sister Joseph Andrew arrived to give a talk at my school – Seton School in Manassas, VA. Every word she said that day resonated with me and made me feel so at home. I knew I wanted to be everything she was. When I went home and told my mom, “This is it!” she laughed and proceeded to tell me that both my parents knew Sister quite well and that when I was just a few months old, Sister Joseph Andrew had held me in her arms and “claimed” me as a future Sister! Eventually, I would hop on a plane and attend my first retreat with the Sisters. I left there knowing I had found my home. I began reading “And Mary’s Yes Continues” while praying more and forming a relationship with a spiritual director. God answered my prayers!! I have found my home this side of Eternity!
Throughout high school, I always had the conviction that I needed to find my Vocation. I watched my older sister enter the Dominican Sisters of Mary and I saw how happy she was living as a Religious. Still, I went about my Senior year at St. Mary’s High School making my own plans to go to college. After I had visited my first-choice, however, I came home completely restless with what God wanted me to do. I told God that I would continue with my plan unless He showed me His plan was something else. Sure enough, the next day Sister Mercedes called me into her classroom and encouraged me to go on retreat. The retreat ended up being canceled due to COVID and God once again told me to trust in Him. I began going to Eucharistic Adoration every night and there I experienced His desire for me to “Come, follow Him” in giving myself completely to Him. Although it took many Surrender Novenas, Litanies of Trust, a lot of grace, and Sister Mercedes’ help to overcome the fear of asking for application papers without having gone on a retreat, I decided that I would call Sister Joseph Andrew and ask to apply. And now, I’m here!
I was raised in a strong Catholic family and homeschooled all my life; both helped to set the foundations for my Religious Vocation. I first started feeling attracted to Religious Life around age 13 and it only grew from there. I met Mother Assumpta and Sister Joseph Andrew when I was 15 – something immediately sparked and leapt inside me. I believed I had found my Order and who I was born to become. I prayed, discerned, learned more about the Community, and fell more in love as the Lord continued to call and pursue me. I made “first contact” with Sister Joseph Andrew a year after meeting her and then found myself at two retreats in 2019, receiving application papers in November. It is truly by God’s grace that I am here! I am just so grateful to Sister Joseph Andrew, my family, friends, and all the people in my life who have supported me and helped me finally arrive! The journey, too, has been beautiful, and I am so excited to continue my love story with the Lord as this new and exciting chapter of my life unfolds in His grace!
My journey to Religious Life began when I was 15 and I attended my first retreat. I saw two Sisters walking around and could not help but be drawn to them and to their immensely radiant joy. Throughout the retreat, in Eucharistic Adoration, Mass, and talks, I continued to feel my heart being opened more than it ever had before. I do not think that it was until this retreat, where God showed me His desire for me to be all His, that I truly knew who God was and how much He cared for me. Ever since that day, I have felt God’s presence and Him calling me to Religious Life. He has continuously placed blessings in my life and even led me straight to the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. Both the Sisters in Georgetown, TX and Fr. Will Straten have greatly helped me to grow closer to God and find where He is calling me. Throughout my journey, God has immensely blessed me with supportive parents, Priests, friends, and community members, all of whom have played a major role in my unwrapping my Vocation. I am so excited to see what God has in store and to pick up my cross and follow Him….humbly and gratefully!
The seed of a Religious Vocation has always been planted in my soul. As I have grown, I have gradually discovered (and continue to discover) what that means. At the beginning of high school, I let Religious Life “sit on the back burner” because of all the career options that I saw before me. Then the summer before my junior year I attended a retreat that refocused my search for God’s Will in my life. I began to talk to Fr. Todd Koenigsknecht, my parish Priest, about my possible Vocation. He suggested that I attend an upcoming Vocational discernment retreat with the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. It was one of the most peaceful and clarifying experiences I ever had and I was blessed to talk to Sr. Joseph Andrew! After this retreat, I gradually discerned that God made me to be a Dominican. I love to study, to be a part of a close-knit community, to be devoted to our Mother Mary and to adore the Blessed Sacrament. As I continued to pray about it, I realized that I found that “at home feeling” that so many Sisters describe, with the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. I cannot wait for the adventure that God has planned for me with them!
Sr. Mary Clare
During my freshman year of high school, while learning more about Religious Vocations, I found a deep attraction and respect towards Religious Life and towards those in my community who had given themselves entirely to Jesus. Over the summer of my sophomore year of high school, my interest and attraction towards Religious Life further grew while traveling to Japan with my family. Witnessing and hearing stories of the Japanese martyrs, such as St. Paul Miki, who died for their faith and gave themselves fully to Jesus in a country predominantly Buddhist or Shinto, inspired me and helped me to see directly the beauty of giving one’s life entirely for Him. The tug on my heart continued through my junior as well as senior year of high school, but it wasn’t until Father Jacob Boddicker, SJ, introduced me to a retreat offered by the Dominican Sisters of Mary that I felt a deep sense of peace and joy in my heart. To witness so many young women becoming His brides and spreading the good news through their Religious Vocations, made me ask “why not me too?” These beautiful Sisters reminded me of the Japanese martyrs in that they had given themselves totally to Jesus, and I realized that I must learn to leap with trust and faith and most importantly answer our Lord with a resounding “yes!”
Michigan City, IN
I have always had an immense desire in my heart to serve others and give myself totally to Christ and His people. By God’s amazing grace, last fall I ended up at the Catholic University of America studying nursing while hoping to also fulfill my first desire. I met some great Catholic friends who really helped me fall back in love with my Catholic Faith. I also met the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist on campus (and actually lived down the hall from some of the Sisters!). I got to know the Sisters, and they invited me to their November retreat. Up to that point, I had not been seriously discerning. The retreat was incredible, and I left knowing that I needed to discern Religious Life more. After praying and discerning (and lots of Eucharistic Adoration), I decided to go on the February retreat. There, I took a huge leap of faith and placed my trust in Jesus as I gave Him my “Fiat.” I was filled with so much peace and joy that I knew I had made the right choice to accept Christ’s offer to be totally His! I am excited to see what great adventure Christ will lead me on. I also want to thank my parish Priest, Fr. Kevin Huber, for all his support!
For three days I had this intense feeling in my chest like someone was pulling at my heart. At the same time, one thought kept popping into my head repeatedly: “You’re supposed to be a nun.” This freaked me out as I responded, “Heck no. This is crazy. I can’t tell anyone about this.” After this began happening more intensely each day, I worked up the courage to tell my now spiritual director, Father Jacob Rose. I started to attend daily Mass but I kept pushing the “Nun idea” to the back of my head. It was not until October, when I attended “Prayers and Pizza” with the Dominican Sisters of Mary in my Diocese, that I could see a life for myself as a Religious Sister. The Sisters were so welcoming and kind, and they were filled with so much joy as they prayed. After attending the November retreat and my “Jesus high” was gone I went back to my doubts and asked God to have someone tell me verbally if this is my calling. In January, after Daily Mass, I was leaving the sanctuary after altar serving. A woman came up and asked if she could talk to me. “When you were on the altar, it was like Mary was stretching out her arms and calling to you (there’s a beautiful statue of Mary behind the altar). Have you ever thought about Religious Life?” In those two sentences, God answered my prayers! I want to thank Fr. Jacob Rose, Sr. Maria Suso, and Sr. Maria Christi for their help through my discernment.
I always had the desire to be a mother so I assumed that meant I was called to marriage though I never truly saw my future self in that beautiful vocation. I began to discern Religious Life in my sophomore year of high school after meeting a Religious Sister for the first time. While I greatly admired her life, I did not think it was something I could seriously be called to live. During my Freshman year of college at St. Mary’s, Notre Dame, I went to the February retreat with some of the Dominican Sisters at their Motherhouse and immediately felt at home. I was also so suddenly surprised to realize it had been Sister Joseph Andrew that I had met in high school and who had ignited the spark of my desire for this life! The retreat brought me such clarity, joy, and peace that I knew that this is where God was calling me to be His! And in this Vocation, I can be a spiritual mother which fills up all the big spaces inside my heart! After my retreat, I increased my attendance to Adoration and Mass as God continued to confirm this truth. I am overjoyed and honored to be entering August 22nd, the feast of the Queenship of Mary. I receive a beautiful new family while keeping my own also and enough Sisters (and future spiritual children!) to last me a lifetime!
This might make others laugh but as early as I can remember, my dad would always pray that my three sisters and I would become nuns. Even in kindergarten when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I responded, “a nun.” As I grew older, I would have this “feeling” when I saw a habit and would respond “I’m open to it” when asked about becoming a Sister. It was not until the summer before my Senior year of high school when I really started realizing what it meant to actually be “open to it.” The fall of my first year at the Catholic University of America I went to a talk and something clicked. I went back to my dorm that night and, through tears, told my two closest friends how I felt called to Religious Life. One of them challenged me to talk to the first Sister I saw the next day and before I could say “Hail Mary,” I was on the November retreat talking to Sister Joseph Andrew! She made me realize that I had been saying “I think I might be called to Religious Life” instead of actually pursuing this life to find out! Although, when the February retreat came around and I had promised my friends I wasn’t going to get application papers, I knew I had to trust in and follow God completely — and I returned to campus joyfully with application in hand. God is endlessly good and I am so excited to continue this journey of trusting Him!
Wappingers Falls, NY
Though I did not grow up going to Church, I had a conversion experience during high school and by Senior year I was attending Mass, visiting the parish Adoration chapel, and praying the Rosary daily. Still, there was a feeling that I could give still more; that I could give myself totally. I asked my parish Priest about Religious Life but then put it on the backburner to focus on my studies as a Freshman at the Catholic University of America. God, however, had different plans, as one of the first floormates I met was a Dominican Sister of Mary who lived in the room next door. Over the next two years, I found myself joining the Sisters for their daily prayers, walks, lunches, and even enjoyed classes with them. Their witness to Christ’s love and their total gift of self spoke to that restlessness in my heart. After visiting a few different orders, I finally went on retreat in Ann Arbor and instantly knew this was where God had created me to be His. Over Christmas break I longed to just be with Jesus moreso and with the Sisters as well. I knew I could not wait any longer to enter this Community. I have to give a special thanks to the Priests who have supported me during this journey: Fr. Michael Connolly; Fr. Cassidy Stinson; and Fr. James Sheridan. Without our Priests, where would any of us be? God bless them all!
Long Island, NY
The thought of Religious Life first started tugging at my heart during my Freshman year of Aldephi University. I had just discovered the beauty of the true Catholic faith, the teachings of the Church, and I was surrounded by a great, young Catholic community for the first time. The more I learned about the faith, the more I fell deeper in love with Christ. The flame inside of me with the desire to teach others about my faith only grew more; and, as I learned more, I became better at talking about it with anyone, especially those who do not consider themselves religious. When I met the Sisters during my Sophomore year, thanks to Fr. Chris Sullivan who had invited them to give a retreat, Sr. Rene Noel told us girls on retreat, “Don’t let the world extinguish the fire within you,” and I felt like she was talking directly to me. I decided to go on their discernment retreat in Michigan, and since then, I had a deep sense the Lord was offering a beautiful gift to me that would fuel the fire He had given me and satisfy all the desires of my heart. The more I encountered Him and the Sisters, the more He confirmed that invitation. All I needed to do was accept His gift and trust Him along the way!
Santa Cruz, CA
The earliest years of my life were most consumed by my two great loves: my Catholic Faith and my professional ballet dancing. These, I presumed, would be stables throughout my life!! Well, I was correct about one of them! I first saw the Dominicans Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist at my home parish of Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston. Their happiness and beauty drew me to talk with them, and eventually, I worked up the courage to introduce myself. That five-minute chat with Sr. Thomas Aquinas was the highlight of my day! Fast forward a year and my mom found their retreat online and encouraged me to go, which was when I actually began discerning. I realized I was looking forward to it more than anything else in my life. This led to watching every YouTube video about Religious Life and all the Vocation stories I could find. Around this time, I also started going to daily Mass and Eucharistic Adoration more frequently, and I noticed I always felt happiest in the presence of Our Lord. One night at Mass I felt like Jesus proposed to me, and I was overwhelmed with happiness! I knew I wanted to be His forever. The weeks leading up to the retreat were so exciting, and I could not wait to meet all the Sisters. When I finally arrived at the Motherhouse for that weekend in February, my first thought was: “I’m home!” and I knew my heart would, indeed, dance with joy forever!
Ever since I can remember, the idea of Religious Life has been placed on my heart. In high school, the call became stronger, but it was not until freshman year of college that I went on retreat with the Dominicans Sisters of Mary. During all-night Eucharistic Adoration, the Lord asked me to be His alone, here with this Order. I said “Yes!” and the peace and immense joy became unexplainable. I was ready to enter right then, but I needed to continue my discernment closely with Sr. Joseph Andrew. Waiting was difficult but I was able to open myself to God’s timing. He and His Blessed Mother helped me continually grow as I finished up my college degree at Bowling Green State University. Their greatest gift was my learning the beauty of sacrifice and surrender. The Lord also surrounded me with many wonderful people who challenge me to grow in my faith every day, especially Fr. Ethan Moore who has guided me in this past year leading up to entrance! Now I am so excited to finally be able to live as a member of this Community! I cannot wait to see what God has in store as I run towards Heaven with all these beautiful Sisters of mine!
At a young age, I considered three options for my life: become a veterinarian, a horse trainer, or a nun. In my early teens, I felt called to give my entire life to Christ if it was His Will. I grew up knowing about the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, and the more I researched other Religious Communities, the more I kept coming back to my first love. Following my first discernment retreat with the Sisters, I felt so at home that I desired to join immediately after high school. Our Lord would ask me to be patient, though, as I was a year too young to enter. Thus, I decided to attend Wyoming Catholic College for one year… which eventually led to my graduation in 2019. Those four years helped me grow in ways unimaginable. The Dominicans never ceased to “haunt” me and the fall after graduation found me back in Ann Arbor on retreat, where I received my application. My discernment journey has been one of humility, trust, patience, and perseverance. I am forever grateful for the Priests and Religious who showed me the beauty of surrender to Christ. I thank my family and friends for their prayers and wisdom along the way. May my life be a joyful offering to Jesus through Mary for them and for all souls!
My parents exposed me to different Vocations growing up: they surrounded me with wonderful examples of married life as they lived their marriage beautifully. While in grade school I visited a cloistered Carmelite nun and other consecrated women who spoke to us about the Vocation of Religious Life. I believed God had called me by name and that His Will would make me happy; thus I waited patiently and prayed persistently to know my Vocation. My love for the Lord grew and flourished at Thomas Aquinas College through studying theology and nature, spiritual direction, as well as frequenting the Sacraments and in Eucharistic Adoration. During summers in college, I loved teaching about my faith and sharing my relationship with Christ as a Totus Tuus missionary and working for FOCUS. The Lord was answering my prayers to know His plan by preparing my heart. I met the Sisters when they visited the College to invite and equip the women on my campus to discern our Vocations. The Spirit nudged me to attend a Vocational discernment retreat in Ann Arbor. Mary’s intercession during the retreat helped me to say “yes” when the Lord called me to be a Dominican Sister of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist.
Mexico City, Mexico
Through different experiences, God placed in my heart the desire to see the social order founded on truth, built on justice, and animated by love. After graduating from law school (Licenciada en Derecho) halfway through my master’s program, I encountered the Lord in an intimate way during Eucharistic Adoration, as I pictured handing my heart over to His hands. By the end of that Holy Hour, the recurring thought was black and white. I knew those were the colors of the Dominican Order, but being active in the world, I silenced a subtle desire in my heart. It was not until I truly surrendered my heart to Jesus and made room for silence that He made me aware of His calling for me. From that moment on Our Lord has confirmed this desire to become a Dominican Sister many times before the Blessed Sacrament. Through His timing and His ways, Jesus has spoken to my heart all these years by gently drawing me closer to Himself and I want to respond in love to His call. So here I am, very grateful for the peace and joy He has placed in my heart.