Each of us, at one point or another, asks ourselves, “What am I here for? Where am I going?” We are all called for something great and divine. God has only the best plan for each of us. When He calls, will you answer?
God calls each of us to live a state of life, be it married, single or religious. Our choice should not be based on what the world dictates, but what God is leading our heart to. Whatever we choose, it should:
- Lead us more closely to God;
- Allow us to serve and glorify Him in the best way we can; and
- Give us the greatest joy.
LOVE IS ALWAYS READY
At a crucial stage of my discernment of becoming a religious, God called my father to eternal life. Three months before my entrance date, my father was no longer with us. During the funeral, I was thinking of postponing my entrance, worried that my family might not be able to bear another “loss,” so to speak. But God wanted me to come and not delay. He wanted me to start my journey with Him. He had knocked on my heart and I opened to Him. I couldn’t say “no” any more. I couldn’t make Him wait any longer. He prepared me for this call from the very beginning and I was ready. Certainly, I was afraid, but love casts out fear. Uncertainties were present, yet God helped me to respond. I left my home, my comfort zone, to go to a place so different from what I’ve known. But I was reminded that Jesus did the same for me. He left the beauty of heaven to be one with me and save me – He was always ready to do anything for love.
Sr. Mary Emmadoña, P.V.M.I.
TO BE A SAINT
Since I was a young child in Nigeria I was attracted to religious life. I admired Sisters and wanted to be like them. Living in a devout Catholic family, I was very involved in our Church, and I loved prayer and loved Our Lady. I wanted to be a saint! Growing up, I was very attracted to the charism of the Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate, their prayer and their outreach to people who have strayed from the Lord. I thank God that I am now a vowed member of this community!
Sr. Mary Eunice, P.V.M.I.
Way back in 1955, when I was seriously reflecting on my call to religious life, I wasn’t sure where I belonged. I only knew I didn’t want to teach! After reading about different communities, and with the encouragement of my parish priest, I visited the Scranton Convent of the Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate. Because they were so warm and welcoming, and their home was filled with the peace of Jesus, I was strongly attracted to them and knew this was the place for me! Incidentally, I’ve been teaching most of my religious life! But sharing my faith with children is much different than the teaching I did not want to do!
Sr. Joan Germaine, P.V.M.I.
WHY THE CONVENT?
As a young girl I often wondered what really drew people to the Convent. Visiting the Parish Visitor’s community one time, I observed a very joyful spirit… a spirit of beautiful simplicity. Another thought that grabbed me was that missionaries were in partnership with Our Lord in helping to save souls.
My prayer life developed gradually. The mosaic that is my life will not be finished until its end. Until then, I thank God every day that He called me to this Community.
Sr. Mary Frances, P.V.M.I.
What a wonderful gift God has given us in the Parish Visitor charism! How great to be called by God to this Community—to be called to a vowed life; to be called to contemplation, not just prayer time, but contemplation; and at the same time to be called to be a missionary to the lost sheep, the straying Catholics, the children who don’t know God, the people who have fallen between the cracks, the very people Jesus spent His time with during His earthly life! Thank You, Lord, for calling me!
Sr. Dolores Marie, P.V.M.I.
MARY, MY MOTHER
When I was about twelve years old, the same year in which I had received instructions for my Baptism, First Confession and First Holy Communion, our Blessed Mother began to take a special place in my life. She was no longer only the Mother of Jesus. She had become my mother as well.
Something happened one day which made me feel keenly the loss of my own mother very greatly. I remember then, turning to Mary and begging her to be my mother; and she has been a real mother to me ever since!
The best way I could show my love for her, I thought, was to join her Sodality and, later, the Legion of Mary. After two retreats (the second was a vocation retreat), I learned that I could live for Jesus alone, loving and serving Him as a Sister. With the help of a parish priest, I contacted the Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate. I was simply amazed because the Community does just what I wanted to do for Jesus and Mary – visit and help people, and instruct them in the Faith.
Sr. Carmen, P.V.M.I.
GOD’S WAYS, NOT ALWAYS OUR WAYS!
I will never forget July 1991 when I received a letter from Father Ngozi with a vocation leaflet entitled “Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate,” about a congregation founded in New York. My first thought was that Father must be wrong. Nigeria is so very far from the U.S.A. Then I said to myself, “God I love you, but not this!” The little voice inside me said, “Yes!”
The more I said, “Not this,” the louder the little voice said, “Yes, this is the Congregation.” I did not have peace until I found myself in the convent of the Parish Visitors.
I had never thought about entering any religious community outside of my country. I am very happy today because I am in the exact Community where God wants me to be. Our charism is the exact work my soul has been longing for. Thank you Lord for speaking to me through that little voice.
Sr. Celine Marie Chinasa, P.V.M.I.
REVELING IN HIS WILL
I have had the joy of helping couples strengthen their marriage commitment. I have seen a child’s face light up as he grasped a hint of God’s love of him. I know the pain and joy of helping cynical teenagers come to an understanding of the beauty of God’s loving commands. Now my apostolate is Our Lord in His aging, consecrated spouses.
I revel in the thought and the fact that I am doing His will—the ultimate happiness anyone can attain here on earth.
Sr. Mary Elise, P.V.M.I.
NOT TOO FAR FOR HIS CALL!
When the Good Shepherd called me to the Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate, I heard His Voice (yes, it was truly His), but I groaned and said, “Lord, it’s too far away from Korea and I don’t know the language my fellow sheep will speak…” When I surrendered my will to the Good Shepherd, He took me to His bosom and brought me here, and made me a good shepherd for souls. The joy of my heart overflows and gives thanks to the Good Shepherd who called me to my beloved Community.
Sr. Mary Beata, P.V.M.I.
God’s vocational gift and call to me is like that of the Hound of Heaven. God pursued me! And yet, He was ever so gentle and loving in His persistent call to me to respond lovingly, generously and willingly.
Sr. Mary Praxedes, P.V.M.I.
A BIG FAMILY!
I always wanted a big family. And, I wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl, when I listened to and learned to read stories. Since I have become a Parish Visitor of Mary Immaculate, God has fulfilled all my desires to overflowing. In this wonderful vocation, I not only have my Parish Visitor family, but I have all God’s children to love and care for wherever they are. Those I cannot reach as a missionary I reach as a contemplative, for through my prayer in the Heart of the Good Shepherd, Jesus admits no distance nor obstacle. Likewise, the stories I am privileged to share are all part of the great book He and I are writing.
Sr. Rita-Mairelenes, P.V.M.I.
A young woman dates, falls in love and marries. Her love is for her husband alone. My dating was looking into and finding out about the life of the Community. I fell in love and entered the Community. On the day I pronounced my Vows, I married my Spouse. Now instead of having love for just my Spouse, I am able to take His love out into the homes and share it with all the people I meet. What a privilege!
Sr. Agnes Cecilia, P.V.M.I.
NO BETTER WAY!
Parish Visitors are called into a Community divinely designed to provide the ideal atmosphere to grow in grace, along with an apostolate with the highest goals… to bring souls to God. Daily, God uses us as His instruments to guide or pray for souls, thus enabling them to attain a happy eternity. I cannot imagine any better way to live one’s life than spending every minute of it in an effort to do God’s Will and help others to follow it, too.
Sr. Mary Roberta, P.V.M.I.
Prayer for Vocations
Mary Immaculate, Queen of the apostles, pray the Lord of the harvest, that He send forth laborers into His vineyard.
Confused about Discernment?
"Do not be afraid.... I am with you."