Franciscan Footprints

Vocation Stories of the Saints - St. Therese - Part 2

It has been several months since I posted the last article in this series.  Sorry. :\

Many of you are trying to figure out what God wants you to do with your life.  You may be looking to know how St. Therese knew she should be a Carmelite nun.  Perhaps you get a little frustrated when you hear other peoples' vocation stories, because they aren't really clear on "How they knew".

First Seed Planted in the Call to be a Nun

Her very first thoughts of becoming a nun came as a very young age, about preschool age.  She was very attached to her sister, Pauline.  She heard people say that Pauline was certain to become a nun. So, not really knowing what that meant, she would tell herself, "I'll be a nun too." (Chapter 2)  That doesn't seem like good enough reason to enter religious life, but that is plenty reason enough for a preschooler.  Little children learn by imitation.  They copy the ones they love and follow them around.  God reached her where she was.  Although copying someone else isn't sufficient reason to enter religious life, it was God's way to to put the thought into little Therese's head.  More mature discernment would have to wait until she was mature enough to do it.

St. Therese tells of playing hermit as a child.  Sounds like it was one of her favorite games.  Little children learn by playing.  She was imagining a religious life and practicing living it.  This was probably helpful in both her discernment of the call and her formation.

She loved playing the hermit so much, she told her favorite sister, Pauline, that she wanted to be a hermit, and couldn't they both go off to some far-away desert together.  Pauline, playing along, said that was her desire too, but she'd have to wait till Therese was old enough.  She later over heard Pauline talking to Marie about leaving to enter Carmel.  She was heart-broken at the though of Pauline leaving her, and not waiting for her.

Pauline tried to console her and told her about life in Carmel.  It was at this point that Therese really felt the call to be a Carmelite.  It was more than just wanting to be with Pauline.  It was the desert the Lord was calling her to.  She wanted it for Him, not Pauline.  There was no shadow of a doubt in her mind.  She met with the Prioress and was disappointed to hear that they couldn't take nine year olds as postulants and that she would have to wait until she was sixteen.  At nine, that must have seemed like an eternity to wait.

St Therese at 15

By the age of fourteen, "God's call was so urgent that I would have passed thorough fire to prove my loyalty."  Here we see no obvious external motivation, but something that apparently comes from within.  The divine nature of the call shows itself in the acts of St. Therese.  It gives her a courage and a boldness she did not have before.  It gives her the courage to speak to priests and her bishop.  It gives her the boldness to speak to the pope, even when told to be silent.  This from one, who just a little earlier would cry at the drop of a hat.

Read more: Vocation Stories of the Saints - St. Therese - Part 2

Two New Hospitals Join OSF - Feb 2018

This is kind of late, but pretty big news for us.

February 1 we had two new hospitals join our OSF HealthCare: Presence Covenant Medical Center in Urbana, IL which is now OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center, and Presence United Samaritans Medical Center in Danville, IL which is now OSF Sacred Heart Medical Center.  The new names of these hospitals hearken back to the names of the religious congregations that founded them.  Sisters of these communities were there at the celebration Mass along with our sisters, OSF and Presence personnel and new OSF Mission Partners.  Below is the display they had at the Mass with pictures of the founders of the two religious communities that started the hospitals and served in them for many years, and ours.

Display of founders at OSF Heart of Mary and OSF Sacred Heart celebration Mass

Read more: Two New Hospitals Join OSF - Feb 2018

Our New Vocation Videos

Yes, we finally did it.

Back in October we had an actual film crew come by to make a new vocation video for us.  We needed to get one finished before the National Catholic Youth Conference.  Funny how it takes a deadline to get us going sometimes.

Anyways, there are two videos, a shorter ad-length one and a longer one.  (Still just about 3 minutes.  About as long as my attention span, I guess.)

Below is the longer of the two.  Take a look and let us know what you think!

Welcome Postulant Patricia

This is a bit overdue.  We announced in our 2017 December Newsletter that we had a new postulant arriving.  You were probably wondering whether she arrived or not.

Yes, Patricia did arrive as expected and has begun her time with us here as a postulant.  This is the first stage in formation to be a sister in our community.  

Her time right now is occupied with volunteering at one of our hospitals several times a week, taking some classes from our sisters, and getting used to our life and prayers and "the way we do things around here".

Please, pray for her as she continues to discern God's will for her.  And pray for us too. :)

A Busy November

This has been a busy month with two major events for us.

2017 Motherhouse Bazaar

As always we had our Annual Motherhouse Bazaar the Friday and Saturday before Thanksgiving.  There was a great turnout.  Friday was the busiest as always.  They only ran out of the donuts about an hour before the bazaar closed on Saturday.  They sold out of pretty much everything in the bakery, and all but 20 plants from the greenhouse. 

We were able to raise a good amount to support those in need.  All proceeds from the bazaar goes to our mission fund, which is used to support those in need throughout the year.

At the same time, two of us were in Indianapolis for the National Catholic Youth Conference. We had a vocation booth there for the attendees, over 20,000 Catholic youth and their chaperones.  We were very impressed with the kids this year, and the conference.  (Although we were kept quite busy in the exhibit hall and didn't get a chance to hear the talks.  They had a good line-up of speakers and musicians.)  And, as always, crazy hats.