Sister Mary Catherine Peterborough, Ontario Finally Professed
I think I felt the call to Religious Life when I was about 16 or 17. I didn't even really know what Religious Life was but I felt God calling me to give myself totally to Him. I had a conversion back to the Catholic Faith when I was 19 after I had been involved in an evangelical church for about 2 years. I dove into my Faith and started to go to Mass and say the Rosary daily. The Lord blessed me with many strong Catholic friends that I met at retreats and conferences.
Now that I look back I can see that God was preparing me for Religious Life. By the time high school ended I still did not know what God wanted for my life. I had a spiritual director who was helping me to listen to what the Holy Spirit was saying to me and I was open to whatever God wanted of me, religious, married, or single life, but I think the idea of becoming a Religious was always in the back of my mind. So I began to look to find an order. My main fear was that I would not be able to find an order that was faithful to the Magisterium of the Church. I was very involved in the pro-life movement and it was at the March for Life in Ottawa in 2001 that I met the Sisters of Our Lady Immaculate. I said to myself, "Nuns at a pro-life march!?!" So I ran, yes ran, over to them and arranged to make contact to come visit them. Right away I fell in love with their brochure which said they were loyal to Peter's Successor. I went and visited them for a week and by the end I had decided to join! Two things that attracted me most were their love for the Blessed Sacrament and their love for Our Lady.
My family was a little shocked at first but they love me very much and just want to see me happy. Most of my friends were very supportive and one even said, "Yah! I'm going to have a nun for a friend!" The people I went to high school with and some of my relatives had seen me heartily practicing my Faith for the past few years so they weren't too surprised, but I could still see they didn't fully understand. The hardest thing for me was leaving my family because I am very close to them. But I have come to realize that the separation has actually helped me to love them more and my desire to grow closer to Jesus has also grown.
I love it here in Religious Life! And my advice to any person who thinks God might be calling them is to "come and see". You owe it to yourself and to God to check it out. God bless you and may Our Lady guide you!