Introduction: Angela

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

+JMJ

Greetings to you and your holy angels! My name is Angela and I am currently 19 and have been discerning the religious life for just over 3 years now. I come from a family of four with my mom, dad, and little sister who is 11. I also have 3 cats at home as well. I am currently an art major and in college, but I am discerning if I will be finishing or not.

I am a cradle Catholic and was brought up going to Mass every Sunday, never missing an RE class unless I was sick, no matter how much I argued against it. My mother never let us wear jeans to Mass nor wear anything inappropriate. My dad is not Catholic, nor are we even sure if he has been baptized. We have been trying to get him to become Catholic ever since I was little and starting to go through RE.

I was not a very pleasant little girl. I stole pens from the pews of church because they looked nice. Mom made me return them and apologize. I also would sneak chocolate into Mass and eat it when I thought mom wasn’t looking, but she knew. I would steal boxes of jello from the pantry and eat the powder. I would always get caught and learned that one ought to think before one acts. It did take a number of times of being caught before I actually would think before I did things.

I really did not comprehend the faith or even why I had to do all the things my mom made me do. Probably the only thing I can remember from my years in RE is making a little Popsicle stick cross stuck in a lump of clay with colored and glittered letters spelling Jesus glued on. I started to really grasp onto what I was doing in Junior High. I started to go to youth ministry events, and the summer camp, Camp WOW, put on by a number of churches in our diocese. It was at my first time at camp in June of 1999 that I got a ‘tap’ on the shoulder. It was more of a wake-up call that Jesus was real and that He was calling me to love Him more and more and to know Him. I have been to this camp every summer since, and will be this June as well.
From there things grew and I began to grow in holiness and my relationship with Him. I would go to as many things as I could through youth ministry and every one had a special grace or blessing.

In my freshman year in high school, I made a suicide attempt, but it did not seem to be me wanting this death. I was crying and praying and pleading God to help me. He did. I had no strength, there was nothing I could do but cry. Years ahead now looking back at this, I feel like the evil one had wanted me gone. He saw what the Lord had planned for me and wanted it stopped before it could start.

About my junior year in high school, I went on the Here I Am Lord retreat which was a vocations retreat. It was music, friends and fun. It was here that I had my very first close encounter with nuns. It was here that I heard the Lord calling me to the religious life, although it was quite confused at first. My discernment all started with one question. “Have you ever thought about the religious life?” I hadn’t, but that weekend I started to, although I was confused if I was called to the religious life or the married life. In fact, before this weekend, I hadn’t thought of either or any other plan for my future.

After this I came home and I brought it up with my mom that I was thinking about the religious life, and flat out was told “you are not becoming a nun.” That was the end of that conversation. And further conversations about this would erupt into argument, so I left the subject untouched for a few years.

It was about two years after all this I was contacted by the Dominican Nuns in Lockport, LA. I talked with them for awhile and wanted to visit them. It would be the next step in my discernment considering in those two years the call to the religious life grew stranger and the call to the married life faded away. I had also discerned that the Lord was calling me to the cloistered life as well.

I did get to visit the Dominicans after some pushing with my mother to let me go. It was a wonderful visit, but it still did not feel like I was home. I came back and I wrote the Poor Clare Colettines in Rockford, IL. I had heard about them from the very beginning of my discernment and decided to visit. I went, and it felt so much like home. The Lord was calling me here and I was sure of it.

Since then I have visited often and I am in the process of applying for the Postulancy, hoping that I will be able to enter in just over a year if debts are paid off after withdrawing from college. I cannot keep the Lord waiting any longer! Three years is quite a long time. Things will be difficult in the next step of withdrawing and entering. It will be the hardest thing I will ever have to do I think, especially considering my mother is against my vocation.

Update: As of August 2008, she is no longer a member of this blog.

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