The question used to be why do you want to be a nun (a religious). The answer was easy – because I love Jesus… Then it became why do you choose to say yes everyday to being a nun (religious)? The answer still seemed easy – because I still love Jesus and I can do good work with Him and my sisters.
Then the work required a teenager living with us for 4 long years, and the question from the teenager became, what makes you different than anyone else who goes to church? Then answer became: Because, you live here!!
Who would have ever imagined that a teenager would be the one to solidify my vocation!? Not me!
Rebecca came to live with us 4 years ago. As a 14-year-old in need of stability, rules, and some uncomplicated love. She sure did make my prayer life an active one. From someone who was once described as uncontrollable- hiding under desks, doing whatever she wanted, not being up to speed academically, to a well composed, almost poised, academically strong first year university student. And we (Sr. Lise & I) were witness, punching bag, mother, father, teacher, and partner to her success.
So, why I am telling you this? Because as crazy as she made me (and it was a daily crazy) she solidified my vocation. Without Rebecca in my life I would not be able to say with conviction that I AM A SISTER OF THE HOLY NAMES OF JESUS & MARY. Without my community Rebecca would not be where she is today- The University of Carleton in Ottawa.
Rebecca at her High School Grad
When I brought Rebecca home Sr. Lise said yes- sight unseen. People asked, “Why”? and the only answer I have is, “It’s what we do”. We serve, we help, we love unconditionally – which I have come to learn doesn’t mean it is without frustration.
So, if you are ever looking for a way to re-commit to your vocation, I recommend taking in a teenager or consider making the summer retreat with the younger-“ish” Canadian Religious. Stay Tuned for details about the retreat… not getting a teenager – you have to get your own!
Article and photo by: Sr. Connie Harrington, SNJM