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God’s call to Religious life …
As children of about 10 years of age, my two friends and I on Saturdays started hanging around a cloistered convent in Ontario. We would climb on our bikes and peek over the walls of their enclosure. Eventually one of the Sisters noticed this, invited us to come into their parlor to meet a couple of Sisters. This meeting for me, extended into six years of close contact with these Sisters.

God’s call to become a Carmelite Sister D.C.J. …
Since I was very young I always wanted to be a Sister. Knowing mostly only these cloistered Sisters, I naturally grew very fond of them, admired them in their prayer life, and thought, - ‘this is it’. When I mentioned to my Uncle Jim that I was one day going to be a Sister like them he replied, “no, you are going to be a Carmelite Sister of the Divine Heart of Jesus.” When I asked how he knew, he said, “because I’m praying for you.” His wife, my Aunt, was raised in the orphanage by the Carmelite Sisters and had a great love for them, especially the older Sisters who were like a mother to her. I remember the day I made my first Communion, my Uncle took me to St. Catharines (Ontario) to visit the Carmelite Sisters on Yates Street. Years later, after I entered the convent I still had the little white plastic altar with tiny statues of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Blessed Mother, and St. Theresa, that the Sisters had given me still sitting on my dresser.

When I was 14 years old, after my Uncle had been visiting our home, I went into my bedroom and found at the foot of my bed an autobiography of Mother Mary Teresa of St. Joseph, Foundress of the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus - now Blessed Mother Mary Teresa. Needless to say, I didn’t have to ask who put it there. While reading the autobiography, I found the Sisters also looked after the elderly besides the care of children. This appealed to me, as I have always enjoyed being around old folks. I must mention that I wrote to a number of religious orders requesting information. I mailed all these requests on the same day. Guess what? The Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus were the first to reply.

The discernment tip ...

  1. Try attending daily Mass and receive Jesus as often as possible
  2. Pray the Rosary and cultivate a deep love for the Blessed Mother
  3. Read books that will stimulate and inspire you, the lives of the Saints, etc.
  4. When you are with your friends and seemingly having a good time, but feel inside that something is missing - you just may have a higher calling.

What makes me happy as a Carmelite Sister D.C.J. …
The Religious life in general, Our Family Spirit, Praying together, Recreating, Just knowing my Sisters are there for me during good and bad times, and I for them.