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If I Become A Sister Will I See My Family?

December 18, 2010

By Sister Pat P.

This is a question that is asked often when meeting with the women interested in religious life.  I believe that this is a great question.

To really answer these questions I do several things.

First, I try to reflect on my experience when I entered. …. I must admit that when i was looking at the Sisters of Mercy I was so awed at the works that they were doing I was not as worried about seeing the family.  I knew i would get to see them at least once a year, call them as I wanted and they could visit. If my family had major illness i could go home.  I did not see this as any different from my married siblings so it was not an issue for me.  Funny thing, as I have gotten older half of my family has moved near the sisters!  Now I see my parents weekly, and the family members that live in the area at least monthly.  It all depends on my ministry and community needs as well as where i live at the time how often I see a family member.

In today’s times, I believe we are more connected to our families because of Facebook, Skype, Cell Phones and land lines.  Some say that this as been the destruction of family, I believe it has enhanced the communication of families and have brought us closer. ( that theme will have to be my next blog).  Since we are closer women asking to become a part of our community want to know if they will loose that connection with the family.

My answer may seem short and simple but too me, if one thinks about it, they will understand what I am saying.  Joining the Sisters and getting married have the same issues when it comes to family.  When a couple gets married it is time for them to develop their relationship, they get their own home, ensure they spend time together for meals, go places together and spend time with each other.  The couple that is married knows that everything they do each day revolves around their needs as well as their jobs.  They get to see their families depending on where they live, their jobs and their spouses needs.

As a Sister of Mercy in many ways it is the same.  When one decides to join us they first become a candidate, this is a time for them to develop their relationship with the  community, spend time with the community and make community their priority.  Depending on where they are living, their ministry, and other obligations determines how often they see their family.  In the beginning a candidate needs to experience everything so seeing the family is limited because of distance and activities but with Facebook and phones the family is always near.  As a Sister of Mercy one is not asked to leave their family and forget about them one is asked to allow the family to grow and make their service to the Lord and the community their priority.

In conclusion,  I leave all of you out there with one final thought. Love is blind!  Remember that saying. Think about it and pray about it.  I believe, love is blind,  when you fall in love with a person or fall in love with serving the Lord the actions are the same. When you are asked to go or serve or do something, the worries and questions seem to melt away and you adjust your life for the one you love.  The family will be there, you will see them but you need to follow your heart and listen to what you are being called to do!  Yes, as I have said before, you may have tears and adjustments but because you Love the spouse or in this case feel called to God as a Sister you are able to go forth with great support.  Your Love and Faith strengthens you.

As you search for your future – do not be afraid to take a step because you are worried about the future. The future can only take place because of our actions today.  Faith is what allows you to go forward.  Fear holds you back and leaves you with regrets. Your heart knows and guides your faith!  The first few years in religious life is the come and see time.  As a Sister of Mercy that is where imarriage and religios life differs, we get to live with the Sisters, rub elbows and really know what the vows are about before we make our vows, not so with marriage. So if your family is what is preventing you from serving as a Sister – Come see don’t let fear keep us apart!

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