Each person is called to love and serve God, each in his or her own unique way. Some are called to be priests who “serve in the name and in the person of Christ the Head in the midst of the community…they serve the People of God by teaching, divine worship, and pastoral governance” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1591-1592). Others consecrate themselves to God in religious life, professing the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience in order to serve God and the Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 944-945). The people below are responding to God’s call by preparing to enter into the vocation of religious life. Please pray for them as they continue on their journeys.
Preparation for Religious Life
Sr. Mary Agnes Graves
Studying with the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Michigan
Interests/Hobbies: Gardening, Reading, Cooking, Traveling, and Meeting New People
Favorite Saint: Saint Josephine Bakhita
Favorite Scripture verse: John 15: 11-12
“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
Brief description of your discernment journey: I grew up in the faith and really made it my own during college at Mizzou. I was active in campus ministry and felt deeply called to serve as a nurse in an impoverished country. After college, I worked for a while then volunteered for two years in Guyana, South America with Mercy Volunteer Corps. It was during that time of service to the poor and living in community that my heart fell in love with Jesus and my mind was convicted of the truth of the Gospel. At the end of my service commitment, I knew that God was calling me to religious life, but I did not know where. I returned to the United States and entered a period of discernment that led me to visit many orders. This past summer, I visited the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Michigan and all the puzzle pieces of my life seemed to fit together perfectly there. I visited many more times feeling even more peace with the sisters. I will be a postulant in Alma beginning August 2015.
Advice for those who are discerning their vocation: The best way I know to discern your vocation is to grow closeness with God. For me it was as simple as developing good prayer habits. Go to daily mass and adoration frequently. Pray the divine office and rosary. If you can, try living in an intentional community and get a good spiritual director to journey with you and keep you accountable.
Prayer requests: Please pray for all those who are sick and dying, especially those who are alone and feel abandoned or estranged from their family and friends. Pray for reconciliation of families and reconciliation with God, especially at the end of life.
Sr. Evangeline Rutherford
Studying with the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration in Mishawaka, IN
Interests/Hobbies: Knitting, crocheting, reading, watching Michigan State sports with my family
Favorite Saint: St. Francis, St. John the Evangelist (not just off the top of my head, really are 2 of my favorites)
Favorite Scripture verse: You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit--fruit that will last--and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. John 15:16
Brief description of your discernment journey to where you are today: I first started thinking about religious life during my freshman year in college at Michigan State University. I know that God wants me to have peace and true joy that comes from doing His will. God has placed many wonderful people in my life who have supported and challenged me to truly discern where I am being called.
Advice for those who are discerning their vocation: Our vocations are an expression of our love for God. Take the time to grow in a loving relationship with Him. Spend time being quiet in front of the Blessed Sacrament. He will reveal His will for your life. Don’t be afraid to accept the invitation to delve deeper than you ever have before.
Prayer requests: For all of those in formation that they may have clarity, peace and courage as they discern God’s will for their lives.
Studying with the Religious Sisters of Mercy in Alma, Michigan
Interests/Hobbies: Soccer, long walks, longboarding, reading
Favorite Saint: St. Francis of Assisi
Favorite Scripture: Romans 8:18
Brief description of your discernment journey to where you are today: Ever since I began learning about religious life when I started living my Catholic faith more intentionally early in college, I was immediately attracted to it. The idea of being a Bride of Christ, the prayer life, and life of service were all so powerfully beautiful to me. Even then I never felt called to anything more than a couple of nun runs and come and sees, but I continued to be open to the interior movements of the heart. It was not until God called me to serve as a missionary in DC after college that I would meet the order that felt like home, the order in which I feel I could live out my vocation to love.
Advice for those who are discerning their vocation: Our lives are a lived expression of love to God. Ask God how you are called to express this love and reveal your heart to you. With frequenting the sacraments, and faithfully following the movements of the heart, Christ will guide you where He is calling you to go. Have faith and have courage, for you are never alone on the journey.
Prayer requests: For my first year of formation with the Religious Sisters of Mercy, for my family, for all missionaries, for newlyweds and those entering their vocation, and all those discerning their vocation.