Why Become a Sister?

After I became Catholic, I heard about the idea of vocation discernment - and my first reaction was that I was certain I was called to marriage. God often works through our desires, and since I had always desired marriage, it didn't seem an important question to me. I didn't know what kind of person would become a nun, but I knew it was someone very different than me; probably someone who didn't care about shoes. I had never met a Sister before and had no tangible way to understand what it meant.

I started a young adult group at my Parish, and two years ago we had an opportunity to have dinner one night with several sisters from the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles. Some of their Sisters live in Denver, and they were reaching out to young women in the area. I was impressed by how joyful, normal and in love with Christ they seemed.

In October of 2012, the beginning of the year of faith, I was in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament one day when I felt God ask me to open my heart to the idea of religious life. From that small open door, God began to change my heart in ways I never dreamed he would. I went on a "Come and See" retreat with the Carmelite Sisters a few weeks later in Denver, and from that moment on I knew God was working in my heart unexpectedly.

After the retreat, I began speaking regularly with the Vocations Directress, and it became clear to both of us that the Lord wanted me to move forward in discernment with the Carmelite Sisters. He has given me complete peace during each step of the process, through visiting and subsequently applying for the Candidacy program. I was accepted to the Candidacy program on July 16th, the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

I moved to California in August of 2013 and began a year of Candidacy with the Sisters. I am living with 5 other Candidates in part of the Sisters' convent. As Candidates, we are here to more deeply discerning whether God is calling us to enter with this Community. Candidacy is a beautiful opportunity to enter into the life of Carmel.

We pray with the Sister in the morning, evening, and night. We work with the Sisters in the Apostolates, and this year I'm working in the Advancement office.

To enter postulancy next year, I will need to have all of my student loans paid off in full.  Candidacy has been a blessing beyond what I could have expected. I am praying that our Lord will continue to make his will clear to me, and that, if it is His will, I will be able to take the step of entering the next step of formation when it is time.

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