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My Journey to Becoming a Sister of Mercy

January 23, 2013
Serving poor and homeless at St. Vincent de Paul in Middletown, ConnecticutPhoto by Bob Walsh

Serving poor and homeless at St. Vincent de Paul in Middletown, Connecticut | Photo by Bob Walsh

By Amanda C.

I always thought I was going to get married.  That’s not how most people would think discerning religious life would start, but that’s how my journey began.  I was in high school when a teacher, who was discerning the diaconate, planted the first seed when he said, “If you’ve ever ruled something out, just keep it on the back burner.”  I have no idea why I took this to heart except that it must have been an act of God because once I’ve made up my mind I can be kind of stubborn.  Fortunately, God kept nudging me and throughout college I began to slowly move toward the Sisters of Mercy although I didn’t know it at the time.

I wish my decision to pursue religious life was a single moment that I could describe to you but I grew into it, or maybe it would be more accurate to say it grew into me.  Either way it was a gradual process that was helped significantly by a group of students I met with in college.  We gathered together often and simply shared what was on our minds; the things that scared us, and the things that made us so excited for whatever God had planned for us!  I never knew I could feel both of those things at the same time and it was so much easier to be with people who were figuring this out as they went along just like I was.

It was during this time that I went on Mercy Challenge with others who were thinking about joining Mercy.  We spent the week in service to the poor of Sacramento, but the memory that sticks with me the most had nothing to do with that.  My vocation minister happened to be on this trip and one day she was showing me around the mother house when we happened upon an elderly sister who was lost.  She couldn’t remember where her room was, and seeing the care that my minister had for this sister that she had never met before has always stuck with me as a true example of what it means to be a sister, and to be merciful.

As I spent more time with the Sisters of Mercy the feeling of coming home became undeniable for me. The love and support I have received as I transitioned into community life, ministered as a chef at the local soup kitchen, and navigated the last few years has made me realize how wonderful and strong this family of women is. Now, as I look forward to the novitiate I value that support more than ever.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Elaine Deasy, RSM permalink
    January 23, 2013 1:03 pm

    Awesome! Thank you Mandy, for your open, honest and delightful response to Mercy.
    It has been a joy to witness you growing into your vocation. May Catherine and Christ and every single one of us continue to support you, challenge you, welcome you to life in Mercy,

  2. January 24, 2013 9:11 am

    Mandy has a great spirit and we’ve been blessed at St. Vincent De Paul Middletown to have her as our chef and co-worker in our mission. She is creative with the menu and inventive with ingredients. One summer when we had truck loads of zucchini come in, she stuffed it, casseroled it and even made delicious desserts with it! Along with being a skilled great chef, Mandy interacts with our guests and volunteers with Christian warmth and friendship.

  3. Kathy Wood permalink
    January 24, 2013 3:09 pm

    Wonderful! I thought God was calling me to be a mercy sister, but I wanted a life different than what God wanted for me. It has not been a bad life, but I see now how much I missed in my life because I refused to listen. I live in OK and would like to know how I might be able to help and serve others.

  4. Fran Lynch, RSM permalink
    January 27, 2013 1:45 pm

    Great piece, Amanda, WIll continue to pray for you on your journey. Frances Warde once said, “It’s a great thing to be a Sister of Mercy.” She was right!!!

  5. Carmela Garofalo, rsm permalink
    January 28, 2013 2:51 pm

    Mandy, it was delightful to read about your journey. Thank you for your words, for the way you contribute to community, and for the wonderful way you nourish the people you minister to.

  6. February 3, 2013 10:03 am

    Way to go Mandy! I am so proud to call you Sister! many blessings and help us get into the next century! Blogisphere! Love Kathlleen Smith

  7. Leah Landis permalink
    February 21, 2013 7:57 pm

    I too have put a calling on hold and am searching for a community of sisters. I have a degree in Criminology and Sociology and wish to find areas of interest. i also enjoy being around and learning from our elderly. Praying to find the right place.


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