Our New Postulants
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.
Sister Sydney Gehle
The prospect of Religious Life did not even cross my mind until my junior year of high school. Even then, it was only because my friend practically dragged me to a retreat with the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. I had the Sisters as teachers, and I admired them, but I was sure that the life they lived was not for me. I experienced deep peace at that retreat and loved being there, but I left positive that I was called to marriage. Then, over the summer leading up to my senior year, I experienced a deeper conversion. When I came back to school, there was something about the Sisters that just attracted me. I started to feel a tug on my heart, and found myself wanting to spend time with the Sisters and know more about their life. As I leaned more into Jesus and Mary, I continued to feel the Lord calling me to step out into the deep, and, towards the end of the year, I came to the conclusion that I should enter the community. This has brought me so much joy and peace, and I am excited for what the Lord has in store for me!
Sister Mary Christen Ruiz
Ever since I was a little kid, I have always been drawn towards religious life. Moving into high school, this desire persisted but I was not totally sure if it was God’s will for me. Because of this uncertainty, I made plans to go to nursing school. However, my plans changed when, during Eucharistic Adoration, God showed me how great His self-sacrificing love for me was and how much He desired to totally give Himself to me. Overwhelmed by His love, I was set on fire with a desire to give myself totally to Him in return. I attended a Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist (DSMME) retreat, and God showed me that this desire to give myself to Him and receive the gift of Himself would be fulfilled in Religious Life. I felt very peaceful, joyful, and at home with the DSMME, so I applied and was accepted to the Order! I am so excited to embark on my journey to become a bride of Christ and to surrender to His love for me!
Sister Mikalyn Caudill
It was not until college that I could explore my faith to the extent I desired. I was able to start regularly attending daily Mass and Adoration, but I still felt there was something missing. The problem was that, while I had been doing all the ‘good Catholic’ things, I was running away from God’s plan for my life. That finally caught up to me at the end of my freshman year when, through Christ’s grace and passion, I realized how unsatisfied I had been for so long. I decided to take Him up on His challenge of love, and I started discerning Religious Life, something that had always fascinated me. As I explored the different Orders and Communities, the beauty of the DSMME kept calling to me. I went on several retreats with them, and each time, I felt more and more at home. I said “YES” to the Lord and applied, trusting that, if He willed it, He would make it happen. Since being accepted, I have felt so much peace and joy! I am so excited to see what the Lord has planned for His handmaiden!
Sister Kristina Sinishtaj
Rochester Hills, Michigan
Acknowledging my call to Religious Life during my first few years of high school, so many temptations and hindrances came along with it. I felt as though the enemy was taking me upon a high mountain, as he did to Our Lord, and was showing me the glory of everything that could be mine. All of these things flashed so quickly, yet so prominently, in my mind the moment Sister Joseph Andrew said to me, “I’m ready to give you your application papers, if you believe you should ask for them.” Sister then grew silent and awaited my response. I had to answer not only to her, but also for myself to God. Was I going to counter all of the fear that came upon me in that moment and give Sister some excuse as to why I didn’t want to receive my application? Or was I going to allow the grace of God to overwhelm me like it did Mary and greatly rejoice in a huge yes to God, my Savior? It was by this grace that I chose God above all other goods, and I indeed said yes to his invitation of becoming a bride of Christ!
Sister Emily Alcaraz
I first met the Sisters at St. Ignatius Prep in Chicago, where they invited me to Eucharistic Adoration. During my senior year of high school, they brought me to a discernment retreat at the Motherhouse in Ann Arbor. I was completely mind-blown by the Sisters’ life of joy in sacrifice. On that retreat, I prayed the Suscipe and offered God my liberty, memory, understanding, and my entire will. However, I was not yet ready to apply, so I went on to study Theology at the University of St. Thomas in Houston for three years. During this time, the desire to be a bride of Christ grew in my heart until I realized I could not put it off any longer. Even though I was only one year from graduating, I knew that God’s plan for me was infinitely greater than mine!
Sister Bridget Bohlin
Santa Fe, New Mexico
“You don’t need to change to believe in My love, for it will be your confidence in that love that will make you change.” – From a meditation by St. Teresa of Calcutta
I’m 22, was born in New Mexico, and just graduated with a degree in physics from MIT. This past April found me on a plane to Michigan for my first ever vocation discernment retreat. Three months before, due to an increasingly pressing restlessness about my vocation, I’d broken up with a man I might have married. That morning, looking out the plane window, I saw a beautiful sunrise. I have always loved traveling at sunrise, and, in seeing such a magnificent act of creation and light made specially for that one moment, I finally internalized what people had been telling me for years: God loved me, unconditionally. Me! Though such a profound truth is inexpressible, it opened my heart to God’s call, and I realized that the restlessness came from nothing less than a deep longing to be His alone. The retreat with the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist was a weekend of light and grace, and a couple detours later, I found myself hemming a sturdy blue postulant skirt!
Sister Mariah Mullen
New Market, Iowa
Though I am a cradle Catholic, by the time I entered high school, I had received comparatively little Catholic formation. So when I stopped practicing the faith in high school, it was not anything more dramatic than having an extra hour a week to myself that normally would have been used for Mass. Upon getting into MIT, my stubborn, contrarian tendencies kicked in, and, determined not to let the East Coast intellectual elites turn me into an atheist, I got involved in the Tech Catholic Community (TCC). Through the deep, Christ-centered friendships I found in the TCC and the patient formation I received from our wise, beloved chaplain, I grew to seriously pursue the question of whether I was called to Religious Life. However, I had some attachments which made it hard for me to get out of the Lord’s way. That changed dramatically at the February vocations retreat with the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, when God gave me the grace to see the call to give up everything for Christ and to give Him my whole self as a gift instead of merely a duty. Thus, my prayer is that Mary’s intercession obtains for me that grace.
Sister Mary Catherine Eddyblouin
I was blessed to be born the oldest of seven children to parents who carefully fostered the Catholic Faith in our family. In high school, the idea of a Religious Vocation began to creep into the back of my mind, but even though it seemed attractive, I brushed it off. I went to Thomas Aquinas College to study theology and philosophy, and it was there that the idea of a Religious Life began to come back into my heart. However, this time, I was able to seriously ask: “What does God want of me?” Before my junior year, my mother told me in no uncertain terms that I was going on a retreat with the Ann Arbor Sisters, whom we had heard about for many years. I dutifully went, expecting no more than to have a good retreat and return to normal life. Instead, it was like the world turned inside out! It became clear that this was where God had been leading me all my life. Suddenly, everything seemed to fall into place, revealing I was on a path I had been following without even knowing! I got my papers to apply, finished college, and now, I’m humbled and excited to enter this Community!
Sister Allison Harrison
Although I grew up Catholic, I started to take my faith more seriously when I began attending high school youth group and daily Mass. I started thinking about religious life during my undergraduate program. During my senior year of college, my mother and I went to Rome, where I was introduced to the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. I continued to pray about my vocation and started taking steps by going on retreats with Sisters during my master’s program. I found myself being drawn to religious life whenever I encountered it on mission trips and retreats. I worked as a speech-language pathologist for two years after college, while still thinking about religious life. In November 2018, I went on a retreat with the DSMME and felt completely at home, in peace, joy, and freedom. I cannot wait to journey to eternity with all of the beautiful souls the Lord has placed in my life!
Sister Katie Greenough
The journey to my vocation began in 2015 with a question posed to the Father in prayer: “What did you create me to do?” He responded, “To be a mom.” Naturally, I assumed that meant the vocation of marriage, so I spent the next couple years praying for my future husband. During that time, I was blessed to make a pilgrimage to Poland in 2016. Throughout the trip, I asked Mary to intercede for my future husband and to help shape my heart after her own maternal heart. Every time I offered that prayer, I was almost immediately led to a Eucharistic chapel. Only now do I realize Mama Mary was guiding me to my future husband, her Son. I came home still convinced I was called to married life. After one date in 2018, I distinctly heard God say, “This is fine, but it’s not what I made you for.” I instantly began looking into Religious Orders and was guided in my searching to the Sisters who had traveled with me on my pilgrimage. Going on the November retreat revealed and solidified that this is where the Father is calling me to become the person He created me to be – His bride.
Sister Michele Peter
Kajang Selangor, Malayasia
Within the depths of my heart, I have always known the Lord was calling me to Religious Life. However, there were not many Catholic schools or Catholic universities where I am from. Thus, my Catholic formation was limited, and Mass became more of a routine for me. It was not until my brother had a personal encounter with Jesus and prayed for my family, that the rest of my family had our re-conversion. After giving my life to Christ, I realized deep down that God was still calling me. I really wanted to join a convent that was on fire for God and faithful to the Catholic church. The grace of God led me to the Dominican Sisters of Mary through Sr. Teresa Benedicta and Sr. Joseph Andrew. I was taken by how joyful these Sisters are! Furthermore, their love for God just gave me so much confidence that I was finally HOME! The greatest joy I had so far was receiving my acceptance letter on the Feast of the Annunciation, when Mary’s fiat also became my “YES” to Jesus!
Sister Maria Gagliano
I was first attracted to religious life when I was five and my childhood babysitter went off to join Mother Teresa! Again I felt attracted to Religious Life at age 21, and I explored it extensively, but nothing was the right fit. Once before the Blessed Sacrament in college, the Lord had allowed me to understand interiorly that it would be a long, difficult road before I could dive into my vocation, and I accepted this. I understood only that my vocation was somehow to be explicitly centered on the Eucharist. When I studied abroad in Siena, I became close with St. Catherine. She’s been rooting for me ever since, I think.
I’ve been working as a nurse practitioner in Dallas for years to pay off my significant student loan debt. Now I am finally debt-free, and after getting to know the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, I think I have found what I was created for, at long last.