What does the Gold Coast and Religious Life have in common? Not much, but that is where I was living when I entered the Sisters of Nazareth.
My primary schooling was in a State School, as at that time we were living “in the bush”, where we only saw a Priest once a month for Mass and Confession. Secondary Schooling was in a Catholic College run by Sisters but I had no attraction to Religious Life. When a Vocations Sister came to my class and asked how many would be interested in Religious Life, there was no way I was going to put my hand up!
The first inkling
I had the first inkling of a religious vocation and decided to delve further, and went to a “Vocation Weekend”. I went home on a ‘high’ and wanted to enter right away but my parents said no as I was too young. I joined the Womens’ Royal Australian Air Force (WRAAF); travelled overseas; learned to fly; had a boyfriend; lived in womens’ barracks and learnt discipline. Upon leaving the WRAAF, I looked to the Lord for inspiration as to what to do next. I felt I needed to get away and think, so I travelled within Australia and found myself going to daily Mass. This ‘niggling’ thought of vocation came back. I went looking for books on Vocations but was told there were none. Then I spoke to a young Priest and he suggested I look at different Congregations, which I thought was a good move. I looked at some Congregations, and although the Sisters were very welcoming – nothing clicked.
I met a Sister
A friend then told me about a “Vocation Weekend” and invited me along. I met a Sister of Nazareth, and everything about her I liked. That was it! I asked about the work but it wasn’t the work that was the attraction, it was the Sister. She invited me to visit Nazareth House, and as I walked through the door I felt at home.
Even when I asked to enter, I was still not 100% sure it was the right decision but I felt I would never know unless I tried. The fact that God never stopped me right through till the Final Vows, I felt it was Him saying YES! It has been 33 years and this is my home, presently in Nazareth House, Camberwell, Melbourne.
You see it is God’s call and His way, not our way!