I always dread it when someone asks me to tell my vocation story. Not because I’m ashamed or embarrassed but because it isn’t that interesting. There was no lightening bolt; there were no revelations or visions from God. There is no one definite point or time, I can say: this is when I started thinking about religious life. It was just a gradual realisation over the past few years.
What do I believe
I was always interested in the Church and although I was Anglican, I attended Catholic Primary School and secondary school and then went on to complete my tertiary studies at Australian Catholic University. Then after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts and Teaching I started working in a Catholic primary school. It was at this time I began to question what I ‘really’ believed. During this time I was not attending Mass as regularly and would swap between Anglican and Catholic services. It wasn’t until I was in a bus accident that I started to attend Mass again. It was also at this time that I began to reflect on what I believed and I felt the Catholic Church was the place for me.
I started my Rites of Catholic Initiation of Adults and throughout this journey I learnt a lot more about the Catholic traditions and became more involved within my parish community. When I made my First Holy Communion at the Easter Vigil, I felt as if I had come home.
I was still working at a Primary School but I also began to volunteer at a soup kitchen, help with children’s liturgy, was a communion minister and visited asylum seekers in a detention centre. Although, I knew I was helping people in the community, I felt that I needed to do more. That’s when I began to think about religious life. To begin with it was just a thought at the back of my mind, but it gradually grew to the point that I needed to explore what religious life involved and whether I would be suited for it. After speaking to my parish priest, I contacted a few religious orders and began meeting regularly with different congregations. This went on for about a year, meeting different sisters and getting a feel for their mission and community, but none of them really felt ‘right’.
Is this for me?
Then one night after Holy Hour, I saw the brochure for a discernment weekend with the Sister’s of Nazareth. I hadn’t really heard much about them, to be honest I wasn’t really sure if I was interested, but I thought I would go to the weekend and ‘see’. The weekend proved to be very providential. I began to feel more relaxed and at home. I spoke with the sisters and I returned for a further ‘come and see’. I also visited the convent in Camberwell and decided this felt like the right place for me. So I resigned my teaching profession, I packed up my house and within five months of seeing the brochure at Holy Hour, I am now a Postulant with the Sisters of Nazareth.
Where God is calling me
So even though I haven’t had any lightening bolts, revelations or clear visions from God, the past few years I have had a slow and gentle realization that this feels like the place God is calling me to be.