Early into my freshman year of college, my youth group (I hesitate to call it that because it was more like an apologetics group...I don't know what to call it. lol) brought the Dom.inican Sist.ers of Mary, Mo.ther of the Eucharist to campus for dinner and a talk on religious life. I was instantly intrigued, because I didn't know people still "did that"! At this point, I didn't know much about my faith, but I was learning and falling in love with it. Anyway, when I saw the sisters, I was SO excited! They wore full habits! They had giant rosaries attached to their belts! To top it off, they were young and hilarious! I wanted to know everything I could about religious life, so I talked to Sr. Thoma.s Aqui.nas and she invited me to a retreat in November. At first, I was definitely not going to go, but when the time came some of my friends that were going convinced me to go, so I did.
Oh my goodness, when I got there, I was captivated by the sisters! I never wanted to leave. They were so full of joy and obviously in love with their Spouse. I think I cried when the retreat was over, and I couldn't wait to go back in May. It wasn't long before I was convinced I had a religious vocation, and the vocation director thought the same.
So this post isn't a million years long, I'll fast forward. In November of my sophomore year of college, I went on another retreat with the sisters, and this time I got my "papers". I was determined to enter the next August! Well, my parents were very, very unhappy (they're non-practicing Catholics), I had my student loans to deal with, and I was fast falling in love with a certain man nicknamed Boomz, so things were extremely difficult for me. That year my family's house was also destroyed in a flood so they had to live in a camper in my aunt's driveway, my dad got into a car accident which should have killed him (he was out of work for months), and sister's eating disorder was popping up again. It was an awful year, but I was so in love with Jesus, and I wanted to belong to Him alone (I didn't really know that married people could too, just in a different way :) ).
Well, with much help from my now-husband, I entered the convent on August 28th-the Feast of St. Augustine (the sisters follow the Rule of St. Augustine)-with 11 other girls. :) My dad was crying because he was so unhappy, but I was in my choir stall at the front of the chapel in my postulant jumper and crying tears of joy. I repeated the words St. Therese said when she entered Carmel, "I am here forever now" in my head. I thought I was home. Obviously, God had other plans! :)
I'll write about how I left and about what life in the convent is like tomorrow (or later today if I have time)!
P.S. The sisters hold a retreat for mothers every year as well, in case any of you are interested! :)