In celebration of World Day for Consecrated Life, the Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations is pleased to offer the results of the Profession Class of 2019 Survey taken of religious sisters and brothers who professed their perpetual vows that year. Thank you for your support of religious vocations in the Church!
We asked some of our newly professed men and women religious to tell us something about themselves that others might find surprising. Their answers below provide some insight to how each discovered their vocational call. Congratulations to the Profession Class of 2019!
Br. Simon Herrmann
Order of St. Benedict
"I see my yes a lot like Mary's "yes", in that God helped me say an initial "yes" to monastic life, and now I cannot wait to see how he helps unfold that "yes" throughout my vocation."
Sr. Cecilia Ashton
Order of Discalced Carmelites
"before I entered the Carmelites I was a dentist. While I’ve always been interested in prayer, I was surprised to discover that I had a contemplative vocation."
Sr. Christina Atienza
Dominican Sisters of San Rafael
"my call to religious life came in the middle of a successful secular career. I entered because of a compelling need to try it out. It took seven years of initial formation, of growing into the lifestyle and the particularity of my congregation, and it was worth it; praise God!"
Sr. Colleen Gibson
Sisters of St. Joseph of Philadelphia
"I started thinking about being a sister in my early teens even though I didn't know any sisters in real life. I felt drawn to the call of communal living and a life completely given to God. When I met my religious congregation after college, it was like coming home to a place and people I'd known in my heart for a long time."
Sr. Faith Marie Zerwic
Sisters of Life
"I studied pharmacy before entering religious life."
Sr. Maria Louise Edwards
Felician Sisters of North America
"from "Broadway" to God's way, I discovered a deeper and more fulfilling life when I spent it in service to others. Jesus said if you lose your life you will find it. The fullness of life that comes from service to others can only be lived, it can't be explained."
Sr. Mary Gemma Harris
Franciscan Sisters of Penance of the Sorrowful Mother
"during my time at college, the Lord opened my eyes to the beauty and joy of religious life, while also revealing His own love to me through Mass and Eucharistic adoration. I was drawn to my community by the joyfully-lived sisterhood and the radical poverty and simplicity, in the face of the world's empty pursuits. The Lord's call to me was irresistible and yet I have never felt so totally free!"
Sr. Clare Bass
Sisters of St. Joseph, Carondelet-St. Louis Province
"My dream as a child was to be the first female Governor of the State of Mississippi. My family had a strong sense of faith, love, and community. Now as a Sister of St. Joseph I aim to help build strong communities of faith, love, and hope!"
Sr. Sydney Moss
Daughters of Mary Help of Christians
"growing up Catholic I never thought about being a Sister until I met Sisters for the first time after college. I was instantly attracted to them but ran away from the idea for many years. While serving as a lay volunteer with the Salesian Sisters in El Salvador, I finally had the clarity and courage I needed to say "yes" to God's call."
Sr. Karin Nürnberg
Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange
"that I am from Germany and a convert to Catholicism. I ministered at L’Arche for 9 years where l eventually met our sisters when some of the novices chose L’Arche for their ministry site. Soon I realized that my heart was yearning for more and I explored the possibility of religious life."
Sr. Desiré Findlay
Felician Sisters of North America
"I lived a very surface life as a young adult, but I saw the depth that I longed for when I met religious sisters. I knew they had something I wanted and I witnessed it in their relationships with God, with each other, in society. I felt that God was showing me religious life as a path on which I could find the meaning and intentionality I was missing in my daily choices and relationships."
Fr. Scott Jakubowski
Congregation of the Mission, Western Province
"that as an environmental scientist I was successful."
Fr. Ronie Lorcha
Order of the Clerics Regular Minor, US-Philippine Delegation
"I was always so inspired and touched by way the priest and religious live their simple lives, dedicated and deeply rooted to Jesus alone by their joyful service to the community."
Br. Eduardo Rivera
Congregation of St. Basil
"I met my religious community, the Basilian Fathers, by working with them in campus ministry at my university. Discerning with my community, I prayed, ate meals, and had the opportunity to know the other confreres. I joined the Basilian Fathers and have felt at home from the first moment."
Br. Benjamin Keller
Dominicans, Province of St. Albert the Great
"I realized that helping others come to know Christ was the thing that brought me the most life and joy. I felt like God was calling me, so I went for it."
Religious sisters and brothers serve the Church in a variety of ways. From left: Pauline Sister and author Maria Grace Gaetano (CNS Photo/Nancy Phelan Wiechec); Franciscan Brother and author Daniel Horan and Loretto Sister and teacher Kathleen Corbett. (CNS Photos/Bob Roller).