After coming up with four different ideas for this Convent Corner article, I have decided to publish a personal letter I wrote to a young lady who had expressed interest in religious life several years ago. I have since sent it to a number of other young ladies. Even if you are not personally eligible to become a sister, you may be interested in this letter.
You see, Our Lord may be thinking of some young lady whom you know. If you can in any way help Him to obtain a lovely bride, the desire of His Sacred Heart, He will be eternally indebted to you. (Unrequited love is not only a theme on earth!) May we know and do God’s Holy Will with all of our hearts, and become the saints that the Sacred Heart intends us to be!
Laudetur Jesus Christus!
A vocation to be a sister is one of the most wonderful gifts God can give a girl. If you are interested in giving up all of your time and talents to serve God and man through the holy vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, you very well may be called by the Sacred Heart. You are doing well to look into it.
Our Order is very active, so good health (mental and physical) is essential. We accept candidates between the ages of sixteen and thirty-five. A young lady must have a high school diploma, a driver’s license, and a clean bill of health. She must also have received the Sacrament of Confirmation.
We accept visits for a week or two from young ladies who are interested in the religious life. If she still wishes to pursue religious life after the visit, and the sisters are in agreement, she may come back as an aspirant for several months, or even up to a year. During this time, she will stay with the Sisters, working, praying, eating, and recreating with them. She will probably be given a duty as an assistant in a classroom or in the kitchen.
If, at the end of the aspirancy, both the young lady and the sisters are assured that this may indeed be God’s Will, the superior will set a date for the young lady to enter, who will then return home for a short while.
A very important part of our lives is the Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. Are you familiar with this great devotion? Have you made your consecration yet?
Another aspect of our work is that we are part of a doctrinal crusade. This means that we teach all of the doctrines of the Faith (even the unpopular ones) clearly and without compromise. Our Order and especially our founder, Father Leonard Feeney, are particularly known for their defense and propagation of the dogma that states, “outside the Catholic Church, no one is saved.” The weakening and denial of this dogma is behind every abuse, heresy, and other problem in the Church — and further, in the world — today. “Baptism of desire” (understood as a speculation about how a justified believer in Christ might get to Heaven without receiving the sacrament of baptism) is not our issue. The necessity of the Church for salvation — with her authority, Faith, and Sacraments — is.
Both our consecration and our defense of the Faith are linked inextricably to the message given by Our Lady at Fatima. You may summarize our work as striving to bring about the Triumph of Her Immaculate Heart. Is there anything better we could be doing?
In conclusion, I want to encourage you to do God’s Holy Will every day, in little things. Try to get closer to Him through your daily duty and devotion to His Mother. Your present vocation is to be an excellent student, friend, daughter, and communicant. Pray your Rosary, with meditation on the mysteries, daily. By so doing, you will draw down God’s favor upon you. He will see your true interest in His will, and His plan for your vowed state in life will become clearer and clearer. Specifically and fervently, ask His Mother to assist you. She will.
I look forward to your response and hope to get to know more about you. Interest in the religious life, though not conclusive, is one of the signs of a vocation to the religious state. We sisters will be praying for you. Please pray for us. I am sending along a picture of the sisters.
May Our Lady bless you with her Holy Child and help you to discover and do His will.
In Her Immaculate Heart,
Sister Marie Thérèse, M.I.C.M.
Dear Readers, I have one more thing to share with you.
Time is short, as you know. As you may not know, souls are more and more receptive to the Faith. Of course, you won’t learn that by listening to the news! We discover good will every time we meet people from across the country. What I want to share with you is a very simple and special way to pray for religious vocations that they may help bring the Faith to all of the millions of souls God wishes to save.
Whenever I attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, at the Consecration of the Host I ask Our Blessed Mother to say something for me to Our Lord as soon as He arrives on the Altar: “Behold! The harvest is great and the laborers are few.” That is all! She doesn’t even have to ask anything of Him. As soon as He hears His beloved Mother state a need, He will surely rise to the occasion and help Her, as He did at the wedding feast at Cana. Furthermore, that prayer is not only for an increase of laborers, but also for a strengthening and perfecting of the existing laborers: the brothers and sisters already here.
I thank you with all my heart for joining me in this prayer for vocations!
Email Sister Marie Thérèse at firstname.lastname@example.org.