Category Archives: Vocations

The Fruits of the “Nun Run”

Lest anyone doubt the fruitfulness of  the “Nun Runs” I cite the recent example of a young woman from Minnesota who went on a “nun run” with 12 other young women from the University of St. Thomas. They visited  ten different convents in ten days in March of 2007, one which was the home of the Passionist Nuns in Whitesville, KY

The Passionists are one of the least known of our nation’s contemplative, cloistered communities so I am thankful that these young women made the long trek to Kentucky to experience their life.  Founded by St. Paul of the Cross, the Passionist Nuns are “Consecrated as brides of the Crucified by their holy vows, they live solely for the Christ and His Body, which is the Church…The Passionist Nuns vow to live in the light of the self-sacrificng love of Jesus.”

As the “Nun Run” van pulled into the Passionist driveway, one of the young women said to Ane Kirstine Wynn, “This is so exciting. Maybe one of us has a Passionist vocation! You might have a Passionist vocation!”  Her words proved to be prophetic as Kirstine found herself drawn to the Passionst way of life.

Kirstine, a Lutheran convert,  returned two years later for her three month aspirancy. After a year as a postulant, she received the beautiful Passionist habit and her religious name: Sr. Cecilia Maria. Finally, on February 2, 2013, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, she pronounced the five Passionist vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, enclosure and the vow to keep the Passion of Our Lord alive in her heart and in the hearts of the faithful.

Within the Church, the Passionist Nuns are called to be a sign of the love of Jesus Crucified for the Father and for mankind. By their unceasing contemplation of the Paschal Mystery of Jesus, the greatest and most overwhelming work of God’s love, they are certain of contributing to the fullness of the Church’s presence to mankind…convinced of the absolute necessity of God’s grace for the fruitfulness of the apostolate, they offer their unceasing prayer and joyful penance that God send zealous workers into His harvest, convert sinners and open the minds of non-Christians to hear the Gospel.

Vocations and Family Life

In the following video, Fr. Joseph Eddy, Vocation Director for the Mercedarian Friars, relates his vocation story. As is usual with many if not most vocational stories, he came from a devout Catholic family. As our National Director, Rev. Thomas A. Nelson, O.Praem., states in his vocational CD’s, as the family goes, so goes priestly and religious vocations. With the decline of the traditional family, there are fewer vocations. If we want priestly and religious vocations, we must build up holy family life again, rooted in the sacraments and prayer. We must pray for Catholic family life.

Father also has a list of the 7 quick questions to ask yourself if you want to discern if you have a vocation. This is geared towards religious life and the Mercedarians but it could apply to anyone. Parents could even answer these questions for their children and if one seems to have a vocation, then they can give them the encouragement they need to explore that beautiful calling from God, one that is vital to the Church and her evangelization efforts.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: Parents should respect and encourage their children’s vocations. They should remember and teach that the first calling of the Christian is to follow Jesus. (CCC 2253)

Cyber Vocation Talk

To celebrate National Vocations Awareness Week, a Visitation Sister will be available to answer questions about spirituality and vocations by email, chat and telephone from January 14 – 18, 2013.

The event is called “Cyber Discernment Week” and it will be hosted by Sr. Susan Marie Kasprzak, a Visitation Nun.  Sr. Susan Marie will offer her counsel each day throughout the week, from 9 AM to 11:30 AM (EST) and 1:30 to 4 PM (EST), answering questions about such topics as the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales, one’s vocation in life, monastic living, and responding to life’s daily challenges. Phone calls made outside of that time will be returned.

“People we talk to are on all spiritual levels and walks of life, and it often surprises me how I can bring the spirituality of our co-founder, St. Francis de Sales, to bear on a person’s situation,” said Sr. Susan Marie recently.

Sr. Susan Marie, who was interviewed on the “EWTN Live” program last May, has been hosting a weekly “Living Jesus Chat Room” on the Visitation’s Second Federation (First Federation monasteries observe papal enclosure) website for almost two years. Each Sunday night at 7:30 PM Eastern Time, a lively online discussion between Sister and various participants can be seen in real time.

“There are many Catholics out there who struggle to draw closer to God,” Sister said. “Some are very knowledgeable in their faith; some are not. They often need an encouragement or some directive to help them in their progress,” Sister said.

Men and women age 18 and up are invited to contact Sr. Susan Marie during the upcoming week. Sister will be responding to emails sent to Or you may visit the “Living Jesus Chat Room,” or call Sister at (718) 745-4452. The event is being publicized by Vocation Promotion, which serves religious communities by providing internet-savvy know-how to assist communities’ work of promoting vocations.

The Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary was founded in 1610 by St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal in Annecy, France, “to give to God daughters of prayer, and souls so interior that they may be found worthy to serve His infinite Majesty and to adore Him in spirit

Making It a Habit!

I always think that religious sisters are making a mistake when they do not wear a habit. To me, the distinctive dress says: Come talk to me! I love Jesus!

This vocation story is a perfect illustration. A young girl, Teresa Seaton, was pursuing her nursing studies at Kansas City Kansas Community College however “the idea of becoming a Sister wouldn’t fade.” But she did not know any sisters or even anyone who had embarked upon that sort of life

She did notice however some Servants of Mary, Ministers to the Sick, walking around the campus, not hard to miss in their distinctive habits.  They were attending school there as well. “I just asked them a question to make conversation,” she said. “They were so sweet.” Eventually she went on a discernment weekend and the rest is history. She entered the community and will receive her habit in July. (In the photo, she holding tiny shoes – the sisters tease her because her feet are very small!)

The other key component of this vocation story is her mother. Teresa comes from a family of twelve children and her mother always prayed that they would follow God’s will for their lives. She is thrilled that Teresa is becoming a spouse of Christ and hopes that she will be an example to the other children.

Check out the full vocation story here!