All is gift, all is grace. My story begins at baptism, one of the greatest gifts of my life. It was on the day of my baptism that I received my vocation, the call to love. I grew up in a very loving, Catholic family. We first learn how to love in our families, and I was taught at a young age that Jesus is the source of all joy and love. The first time I met religious sisters was in high school. I remember being attracted to their joy, but the thought of being a sister made me uncomfortable and I always pushed the thought away immediately. I had always wanted to be a geriatrics nurse.
During my senior year of high school, my grandmother, whom I helped care for, passed away. The things of the world were becoming so unsatisfying and I was restless. I started to pray a rosary every day and attend daily mass, and these graces changed my life. When I began to fall in love with our Lord, I wanted to know His will for my life. It was around this time that I was inspired to begin praying novenas to know my vocation. Jesus was sending me lots of clear ‘signs’ that I was called to religious life. I had just finished a novena to St. Anne, and was praying one evening in my parish chapel, when I knew with very much clarity that Jesus was asking me to be His.
The immense peace and joy were so tangible! I knew I was called to be a bride of Christ… but I was accepted into nursing school. All summer long I didn’t have peace about college, and within two weeks of starting classes, I withdrew my enrollment; so much peace came with that decision. When love itself calls you by name, you drop everything to follow Him.
About a month later, I met our sisters when I started to volunteer at St. Agnes Home. Sr. Mary Joseph had prayed for a faithful volunteer, and the Holy Spirit providentially led me right to the community that He was calling me to. I knew right away that this was my home, and that Jesus had prepared my heart for this way of life. I was attracted to the joy of our sisters, the divine office, and the apostolate that I so deeply desired and loved. With much conviction, I knew that this was the place and vocation that He made me for. I began going on retreats with our sisters and spending most of my time at St. Agnes. I volunteered with our residents in activities for six months, and worked as an assistant teacher at our daycare center for over a year. I asked permission to enter our Carmel, and with very much gratitude and joy, entered the convent in July 2019. Since entering Carmel DCJ, I have truly found the one whom my soul loves, and every day with Him is a gift.