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[quote name='Antigonos' timestamp='1324300199' post='2353646']
I apologize if I offended anyone; it was not my intention. And you are right; this is not the forum for it.
[/quote]

I am sorry you can't receive messages. I tried but no go. Please don't stop posting. I would be happy to participate in anything you write on the Debate Table!

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Here is my story, shared briefly and without many details. I have been considering life as a consecrated woman in a secular institute. This means that I will live by vows of poverty, chastity, and

After a beautiful little post in the Raising Small Humans board, I thought I would start a thread here. VS often changes due to people entering religious life, new people coming and going, etc. I k

This is probably the most sanitised version I can muster. I was born into a mixed marriage', my father being the catholic parent, but the love and support came from my mother. My father was a c

You are forgiven Antigonos. It took quite a bit after all of those untrue and quite hurtful comments you made to me through message, but I hope that we can be friends. I was properly schooled in the faith, my parents were practicing, and so is my entire family. I went to Hebrew school Monday through Friday every day for eight hours a day. My father didn't even allow me to have a bat mitzvah since the orthodox tradition believes it belongs only to the male. I have cousins who live in Israel too.

I do understand the faith, Antigonos, but that understanding only came to fulfillment with the understanding of Christ. There are many of us in this world... Quite a list of highly intelligent men and women who have become Catholic-- many even rabbis.

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[quote name='LadyOfSorrows' timestamp='1324302690' post='2353667']
You are forgiven Antigonos. It took quite a bit after all of those untrue and quite hurtful comments you made to me through message, but I hope that we can be friends. I was properly schooled in the faith, my parents were practicing, and so is my entire family. I went to Hebrew school Monday through Friday every day for eight hours a day. My father didn't even allow me to have a bat mitzvah since the orthodox tradition believes it belongs only to the male. I have cousins who live in Israel too.

I do understand the faith, Antigonos, but that understanding only came to fulfillment with the understanding of Christ. There are many of us in this world... Quite a list of highly intelligent men and women who have become Catholic-- many even rabbis.
[/quote]


I think it must be very hard for those of one faith to see some of their own convert to another faith, just as hard for one side as the other. After all, both think they are following what is true. These things would be best reserved for PM but unfortunately not everyone can use PM. The next best place might be the Debate Table?

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This is my Reader's Digest version:

I grew up in a nominally Catholic family; my parents divorced when I was in second grade. (My unusual, dysfunctional family life is a whole different story, though!) I went to a Catholic grade school and had a true "re-conversion" wholeheartedly (if it can be called that, since I never really grew up knowing much about the Church) to the Faith in 7th grade, thanks to a wonderful religion teacher and the grace of Confirmation. (At that point, my mom had a "re-conversion" with me.) This was when I first seriously considered religious life; I knew about religious since we were taught by Sisters, but they were all elderly, didn't wear a habit, and didn't have much of a community life, so I searched elsewhere for information on religious Sisters.

I had a wonderful spiritual director in my parish's pastor. Our parish was named for St. Therese, so I started looking into the Carmelite nuns, and was convinced if I were called to religious life, that I was going to be a cloistered Carmelite. My sophomore/junior year in high school, I remember Msgr. asking me, "What if God isn't calling you to cloistered life, but to active life?" At first I thought there was no way that could be true, but once I started opening myself to God's will, everything fell into place and I found the community I later entered.

At the end of my junior year, I was convinced I was called to religious life. Just about everyone I know was opposed to my entering the convent after high school; I was near the top of my class and could have done very well in college, but I truly felt this was something God was calling me to do, and so two months after my high school graduation, I entered religious life. I truly don't regret that one bit, and never have.

The first year, there were signs here and there that I wasn't called to religious life, but I chalked it up to the fact that I wasn't giving my all, and thought after I received the habit things would change. The emotional high of receiving the habit and a new name did calm me for a while; then the doubts returned. I had wanted religious life with all my heart; I thought it was the best way that I could give my life entirely to God, which was what I wanted to do. I am a stubborn mule, and I was stubborn when it came to "forcing" a vocation I simply wasn't called to. God had to really pull a lot of strings to get me to realize what His will was for me. It wasn't until five years later, through endless prayers, discernment, tears, and anguish, that I finally decided to leave. It was the hardest decision I've ever made, especially because it required blind trust in God. I didn't have a degree, I didn't even have any of my own clothes ... how was this going to work??

After I left, I got a job with a statewide pro-life organization, which I loved. After leaving the convent, I prayed to St. Raphael that he would lead me to follow God's will for me; he had been a dear friend of mine in the convent and it was through his intercession that I found the courage to finally leave. At this point in time, I was feeling the pull toward marriage (it was something I had always felt attracted to, but put it aside once I decided on religious life). Not too long afterward, I met my husband; we immediately clicked and knew we were meant for one another, became engaged, and then got married in November 2009. I am the happiest woman in the world!! God had to work mysterious miracles in my life to get me to where I am today, safe in the beautiful haven of His Will, but I know He allowed all my experiences to shape me into the woman I am today. If I hadn't been in the convent for the time I had, I probably never would have met my husband, and I certainly wouldn't be the wife and mother I am today. I am so grateful to God for everything!!!

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Thank you for your input, nunsense. Yes it can be very difficult-- especially being persecuted by my own family. Phatmass is not the place for that. Phatmass is like a retreat for me. The debate table would be a good place to debate this, but to defend my own story and journey, this had to be posted here. Everyone else gets a chance to share their story but if mine is so belittled by a someone of my own faith, then I may defend myself.

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It's so good to see everyone on here! And Cherie, this was a wonderful idea. Especially for those that have more "curvy" vocation stories, it helps put a timeline to things.


"God writes straight with crooked lines."

How true I know this to be in my own story, which I'm going to think about and write in a couple of days.

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Now, for my family story. I am the youngest of four. My mother is a very devout Catholic. My father is not. My brother is a CEO (Christmas and Easter Only). My parents got divorced when I was 12. I have not seen my father since then. We were all raised Catholic, went through the motions. I decided to stop going when I was in high school, began exploring a lot of other things. A series of spiritual experiences brought me back to the faith.

I grew up in the U.A.E and moved to Canada, after a brief stay in India.

I was always a thinker, and examined everything. Except, when something started to happen that I could not, because there was a higher power at work here.

My sister came back to the practise of the faith, after spending time with me. She married a devout Catholic. My other sister is practising, but still has a long way to go.

I thank God, for giving me the gift of Catholic education, without which I would not have found my way in the world.

Vocation wise, this has not been an easy road. I have been through denial, running away, anger, grief over being called to the religious life.

In my case, the saying, holds true, "If God wants you to be somewhere, nothing on earth, can keep you away"

Edited by savvy
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[quote name='EmilyAnn' timestamp='1324298778' post='2353634']

I told my mother a few weeks ago and she was so angry and eventually I got so stressed I just told her to forget it - she was saying I'd been brainwashed and she hated the Church and should never have let me go to church when I was younger. When I'm on my own at university it's so much easier and I feel the call so strongly. When I'm at home, surrounded by my mother's hate and anger it's so much more difficult. I'm kind of at a loss now. The feeling of the call is still there and there is still that joy but there's also this terrible sadness at the pain it causes in others.
[/quote]
I understand where you are coming from with your mom. Her saying she hates the Church and you being brainwashed sounds very much like what my mom has to me. It is really really hard when your parents are dead set against your discernment. For me I slowly accepted that if I waited for my parents to be on board I would be waiting forever. Even though I would like to be more open about my discernment I know that it is better if I don't share all the details. For example I am going to visit a community in Jan. My parents only know the dates and the city and state that I am going to.
My other piece of advice is from Ignatian discernment. It sounds like when you are home you go into a period of desolation but while at university you are in consolation. Thus remember rule number 5: Never make decisions in desolation. Desolation is the time when the devil is really trying to influence you so obviously that is not the time to make any life changing decisions.
If you want to talk more PM me.

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Unfortunately you can't control or be responsible for how others feel. You can only be responsible for yourself. Of course, blatant disrespect is one thing, but having your parents accept your faith and your decision is quite another. I tried for years (actually until she died-she was in a coma and I told her I forgave her for all the things she did and said to me over the years) to please my mother, to not rock the boat, but at about age 29 after having 3 children of my own, did I realize it was not my job to please my mother. It was also not my job to criticize her or her parenting skills or lack thereof. It was what it was and nothing I could do could change it. It took me years to realize she was the best mother she knew how to be - no more, no less. It wasn't that[b] I [/b]was necessarily the problem, but her parenting and interpersonal skills she learned from her mother and other female relatives.were lacking. Her's was a "cold" generation - she was a product of World War II and Korea. That generation tended to keep people at a distance, even their own children. So.....
You must remember always that ultimately it's your decision as to what to do. Try to dig deeper to discover why your parents are dead set against a religious vocation. When people say things like you've been brainwashed, etc. they are using it as an excuse (whether they know it or not) to hide the real reason/s they are upset.

Edited by Francis Clare
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Here is my story:

My parents met a little bit later in life and the first time that they met, they talked for about three hours. It was love at first talk. A year or two later they got married… both mum and dad Catholic. Mum was a practicing Catholic but dad had not been to Church or Confession for a little while. While they had been dating… mum helped dad and soon he was a more devoted Catholic. Five years later, they had my older brother and baptized him at a few months in the Catholic church of course. Three years later, they had me also and during mum’s pregnancy with me, her and my older brother went to Mass at a little local chapel, confession, and they bought little relics and pictures of the Blessed Mother. Dad two months before I was born went to Portugal and visited Fatima… brining back a simple, brown, wooden Rosary for me and getting another for my older brother. Mum of course got a Rosary too! I was born tiny on June 29 and was Baptized in the Catholic faith in October. I grew up happily until I went to school. I went to a Catholic school but I hated the kids. They were bratty and mean and I hate to say it… but a little bit to rich. My older brother was taken out of school to be home schooled because my mum felt that he was not getting enough religion it was too easy for him. The year that I was going into second grade I decided that I wanted to be home schooled. By this time, my little sister was born and of course baptized. My older bro and I were now both home schooled and my lil sis was “automatically” home schooled because we were. Mum taught us a lot about the Catholic faith and incorporated it into our schoolwork. Dad was of course at work making a living for our family. He qualified for trips and because dad has brought us along on the trips, we have been all over the world especially in Europe. Therefore, I led a quiet life doing schoolwork, playing with my big bro and lil sis, playing pretend and living in a little world of friends. I started volunteering at a home for the elderly run by the Little Sisters of the Poor and at first went once a month like all of the Marian Aides. Soon I fell in love volunteering at the home. I have now been going every week on Tuesdays with i<3franciscans her siblings and another girl and boy for about a year. At about eleven and a few months, I felt that God might want me to be a Little Sister of the Poor but I did not really bother with it. When I was in Hawaii with my family for my dad’s business trip, I really prayed about it. I asked St. Damien (patron saint of Hawaii) the Little Flower whom I had loved and the Blessed Mother to send me a rose. They actually sent me three and a daisy, which was originally the Little Flower’s favorite flower. I prayed a lot about it and talked to i<3fran about it too. I prayed about whom besides a few close friends I should tell next about my later vocation. God showed again with roses and little signs that I should talk to a certain Sister who was at our home. I started “working” for her on the second floor and I go to know her a bit. She is sweet, young, holy, and pretty, like to give hugs and talks about tacos and younger siblings. She was transferred to Queens this July and I did not find time or the guts to tell her. A few days after she left i<3franciscans told me about Phatmass and I became a member. Ya’ll have helped me so much even if I do post in the lame boards the most! The Sister who is sort of in charge of us girls at the home recently asked Mother Provincial if the Phatmass member mysisterisalittlesister and I could go down to Queens for a weekend while older girls are on a retreat. Mother said yes and that we will work with the Sister I’m supposed to talk to! That kind of “concludes” my story and I’ll just say that I love it on here. I feel that this is my second phamily. In my discernment, I have grown stronger in the Catholic faith and my parents have been married happily for twenty years and I live with my older brother, younger sister, and of course, my parents while trying to live a simple life focused on my beloved Christ.


I love you Pham! :)

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This is probably the most sanitised version I can muster.


I was born into a mixed marriage', my father being the catholic parent, but the love and support came from my mother. My father was a cold, hard disciplinarian, which escalated into abuse, physical, mental and later sexual. He was what we refer to as a Sunday Catholic, abusing his family all week, then go to Mass on Sunday, put a good sized donation in the collection plate, then go home and do it all again.

At 13, I volunteered as an Auxilliary at a Catholic Hospital, remained working there every weekend and after school for the next 3 years, when at age 16 I became an Aspirant with the order, and then at 17 entered their postulancy. As their Novitiate was in another country, I willingly travelled there and completed my formation, remaining in that country as a newly professed, being given 'my obedience' to various Hospitals within that country.

After Final Profession, I was re-assigned to a Hospital in my own country, but not in my home town. The doubts that had surfaced in the early years of my Formation, but had been dismissed by my NM , as 'the work of the Devil', came back stronger than ever, and I slowly realised that God was not wanting me to remain in RL, but that I could do His Will just as well in the world.

I will spare you the details of my leaving, except that the Mother Superior agreed with me that I had had a "temporary vocation", and I left, as they did back in the late 60's, with warnings ringing in my ears about the wicked world that I was about to embrace, I would have a nervous breakdown, would marry an alchoholic and never be happy. The order I had been part of turned its back on me, as in their eyes I had thrown away my vocation, and God would not 'call me again'

My return to the world was hard and traumatic. My father treated me appallingly, - it was almost as though I had diminished his standing in the Parish by coming home. He again began the regime of abuse, but as was the norm back then, nobody would listen to a 'returned nun' The Church condemned me for the 'failure of my vocation', which resulted in me losing my faith for many years. I actually became baptised in another faith, and followed that path for a number of years, but very gradually I began to see that God had not turned His back on me and I reverted to the Catholic faith after the birth of my 2nd child.

Today I look back, and realise that God did want me in RL, but only temporarily, and that my true vocation was as a wife, mother, grandmother and nurse. I have no regrets at entering RL, I learned so much about myself, and in some ways I credit those years for making me the woman that I am today.

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I am keeping mine very short because I hate writing too much so here it is...

I was born and raised in a great Catholic family. Most could say I am still being raised because I am in high school. I have been on the road of discernment for two years. I firmly believe that God is calling me to religious life, but as we all know only time will tell. I feel that I am called to the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal, but there are still many years between me and their entrance age so there is plenty of time to pray and discern and pray and discern... :) I found Phat Mass this past summer and I am so happy to have a discernment phamily. Many prayers for all of you!!!

In the spirit of St. Francis,
fran

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I too shall keep short as well ( my about me has my story also).

Born to two amesome catholic parents who were and are really on fire for there faith.I am the third oldest of eleven kids. I kinda always had the idea of being a priest and I played "mass" till I was six or seven. And at 16 i went to a minor seminary and after that I Decerned to go into The Novitiate for The Legionaries of Christ and was there for a year and a quarter. Then I relized God did not want me there. I returned home and Now I am not sure what God want's me to do with the rest of the my life. But no matter what I shall fallow him anywhere.

That's my story in a nut shell. Hope you liked it. Want more send a message my way!

Edited by Oremoose
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[quote name='Lisa' timestamp='1324309389' post='2353696']
It's so good to see everyone on here! And Cherie, this was a wonderful idea. Especially for those that have more "curvy" vocation stories, it helps put a timeline to things.


"God writes straight with crooked lines."

How true I know this to be in my own story, which I'm going to think about and write in a couple of days.
[/quote]

I cannot wait to read your story Lisa!

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