I made my Profession of vows on the Solemnity of the Assumption in 1992. Although I was a late vocation the seeds to a life of consecration were planted during my childhood years. My sister, two years older than I, loved to be in the company of the Religious Teacher Filippini sisters stationed at our parish. My attraction was not the same as my sister’s who loved to make shrines in our humble home and from an early age preferred to pray rather than play. I wanted to be with my sister and followed everything she did.
When I was in the third grade, my sister and I would go to our parish on our bikes for the 8:00 o’clock Mass and sit right behind the sisters. I would marvel at how their every
move was synchronized . They would file in for Mass and sit in the front row while my sister and I sat directly in back of them. I was impressed at how they, so reverently, would
receive Our Lord in Holy Communion. Sometimes, the sisters invited my sister and me to pray in their convent chapel. I remember it to be a privilege . How I liked to
feel the gentle breeze of Springtime coming through the opened window while we, as children, kneeled in silence before the Blessed Sacrament.
When I transferred from public school to the parish school in the fifth grade, I was always in the company of the sisters. My sister had entered the convent at a young age and my nearness to her was to be near the sisters. Every Saturday, I would go to help the sisters clean the convent. My job was to wash the stairs and clean the basement ridding the corners of cobwebs. How happy I was to do that!
Many years had passed and my life took many turns. I had received a Masters Degree in Education and taught in the public school system. During those years I became distant from God. Seeking truth, I soon became disillusioned with the false values of the world. I was ripe for conversion.
Due to illness, my sister, no less prayerful, returned to secular life. Suffering became a part of her life’s offering to God. In the years that followed she
was diagnosed with a rare form of Lymphoma. On March 15, 1987 my family and I went to Fr. Ralph DiOrio’s healing service in Massachusetts, seeking a healing for my sister. It was
the first time we had ever attended one and did not know what to expect. That day, I saw the mercy and love of God touch many people with His healing presence. I was one of them.
All the possessions that I acquired after my years of teaching and the time spent as a Real Estate agent completely dissolved before my eyes in seconds. Like St. Paul, I had a spiritual
conversion. I gave my heart completely to the Lord seeking only His will. Growing in my love of God and drawn to a life of prayer, I gave my “fiat” while attending the
closing of the Marian year, on August 15, 1988. I attributed my vocation to Mary’s mediation as I turned to her for guidance and she prepared the way. I had the joy of
being clothed with the holy habit of St. Dominic on August 15, 1990, on the Solemnity of Mary’s Assumption. This joy-filled day was the beginning of my life, hidden in Christ, at
the heart of the Church.
You, Oh Lord, have called me,
and I come to you,
not through my merits
but through Your mercy alone
which I ask of You
in virtue of Your Blood.
(St. Catherine of Siena)