During our second year as novices, we each go on “mission” for six months, living with professed Sisters in one of our other convents, and putting into practice what we learned in class last year about living out the vows. For my mission, I am working at the House of Formation in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The young women (called “aspirants”) who live and pray here with us are discerning whether God is calling them to the religious life, and if so, to which community. My role can be summed up well by the words of our foundress, Mother M. Anselma: to be “simply ready in obedience.” No one day is quite like the next one, other than the constant of the Holy Hour that I get to pray each day for vocations to the priesthood and religious life in this diocese.
A large part of what I do is show the aspirants who live and pray with us the joy and the reality of a life lived for and with Christ. While I have different projects that I’m working on, being simply ready in obedience also means that I’m willing to stop those projects and do whatever else needs to be done that day. Recently, we held an Open House for the Diocese, to let people come and see what the House of Formation is like. I gave tours. For a few days before that, you almost always could find me doing lots of yard work and housekeeping to get the house all sparkly clean. There was also the day when Fr. Fernando, a newly ordained priest for the Diocese, said his First Mass in our chapel. He is from Mexico. After Mass, we hosted his family and friends for a light reception. They spoke little English and we, no Spanish, so that was an adventure! Other days, you might find me volunteering at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, welcoming pilgrims from around the world as they arrive, or providing cart rides up and down the hill to the Shrine Church for those needing the assistance. Though the days are varied, Christ never fails to show His love for me and to give me opportunities to share that love with others, for which I am very grateful!
We are a Catholic religious congregation of about 125 strong in the United States and about 1300 worldwide! God has blessed us with a special mission (or charism): to make visible the Merciful Love of Christ in our service.