Sister Colleen’s Vocation Story


My parents had 16 children…I’m the 14th. At age 5, I remember telling my mother I was going to have 17 children. Later, that number changed to 21. Later, I realized I would only be able to find one man who would allow me to have all the children I could ever want. His name is Jesus. I often said to myself that physically, I would never be able to bear all the children I want to have. I felt my heart was too big. That was not a statement of grandeur, but of reality.

In high school, I finally met the Salesian Sisters. I loved their joy, their sense of humor, their ability to make faith real, and to BE real. I loved to see them play volleyball with us, and just hang out. Love for God for the Salesian is not relegated to prayer life that is multiplied, but infuses the very heart of life and our very breathing.

Salesians, in fact, until the last few years, found all of their vocations among their students. I think this is a testament to the quality of the presence of the Sisters among the young, and the power of the witness of their lives in community and for God.

So, I inevitably began to think about religious life. But who wants to be a nun today? That’s not cool! That’s not fun! So I got busy about NOT being a nun. I dated about 6 or 8 guys throughout high school, and every time I would come home, I really can’t explain this part, but there was an emptiness, like I wanted to say, “That’s all?”.

By Senior year, I realized that I would have to make a decision, and after a roller coaster of yes/no, I decided that I would have to give religious life a go, and here’s what made up my mind: I went to babysit for a couple. The woman was 34. They had two boys, nice kids, and fun to be with. The lady asked me once, “So, what are you going to do after high school?” I said, “Well, I’m not sure, I guess I’ll just go to college and study to be a nurse, or something….I know it’s funny, but I have these great nuns at my school, and sometimes I think of joining them, but I’m not sure.” (Little did she know that the next thing she said would make up my mind~!) So she said, “Hey, that’s funny. I used to think the same thing, and sometimes, I STILL WONDER IF THAT’S WHAT I SHOULD HAVE DONE.” So, needless to say, I did NOT want to wind up 34 and having missed the boat on a vocation…I entered that year!

And it was excellent. That little something that was always unsatisfied and unsettled wound up being still and happy, and my heart was full, as it still is very much today.


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10 Responses to “Sister Colleen’s Vocation Story”

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What a great testimony, Sr Colleen! Thanks for sharing. ๐Ÿ™‚

A lovely Vocation Story…..thnak you for sharing this with us all Sister.

Thank you for this beautiful testimony. I am twenty years old and I’ve been discerning the religious life seriously for four years. ๐Ÿ™‚ Now I am sure that I am called to be a nun or a sister. It now remains for me to find the right community. Any tips on nun-hunting?

Look for my answer in the question box section, Vicky!

THAT’s what I like to hear, Sister! It takes alot of guts to take a stand that is different, especially when you are a very young person. It is the “that’s all?” I was talking about on the myspace message. May God bless each and every big and small effort you make on His loving behalf.

Elaine in Los Angeles

Wow, Sr. Colleen!! =]

That’s really cool.
God puts people in our lives, and I think those are the modern day miracles! They affect us so deeply, even when they aren’t trying to ! =]

God bless!! =]

Wow! Your story is very inspiring to me.
I’m struggling to get past the many
sacrifices a nun must make, but I know that
God will bless me tenfold if I say “YES” to
the beautiful calling to be a Nun. I will have
many children, and the best spouse there could
be. Jesus will fill my emptiness!

sister, you rock!
Good for you and God bless you in your ministry to the young.
P. Jose

Lovely story. An old friend of mine, Margaret McLaughlin enteted the Salesian sisters in the late 60s. Her sister Isobel entered Little Sisters. Of the Poor. Lost touch with both of them. Pray like Sr. Colleen, they they fufilled their vocation. Have a nice feeling they did. Greetings from Glasgow, Scotland.

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