Initial Formation Team
Everyone has a vocation. A vocation is a call from God on how best to utilize your gifts and talents in service among God’s people.
The process of discerning one’s vocation is anything but simple. It usually includes gathering information, talking to people, prayer and careful consideration in order to make a wise choice that will give you peace. And, you do have a choice. We are called to one of three basic vocations in life:
- Single life
- Married life
- Consecrated or religious life
Discernment is a process that takes time. It is important to remember that you are not alone – you have family, friends, mentors, other religious people and God to help you each step of the way.
December 18, 2016 – Entrance Ceremony as Candidate of the Sisters of Providence - Rezebeth Noceja
Please click on the link below to view the video:
Annual Summer Live-In Experience August 13-19, 2016
Three young women, Edrienne, Cristine and Linh are offering testimonies of their Summer Live-In Experience.
“The Summer Live-In with the Sisters of Providence was a gift from Him indeed! I came in out of a desire to abandon myself to Him and to allow Him to change the desires of my heart if His will permits. But in the end, with the help of the Sisters, I realized that God has given the desires in my heart for a reason, and He only longs to fill my heart with love. However, this gave me the freedom to be at peace with how He created me. My joys, my weaknesses, gifts, and my desires and to use the knowledge to truly discern which vocation He has called me to.” Edrienne
“My experience with the Sisters of Providence – Summer Live-In Experience was great! Sometimes we need to stop for a while to have a break from the buzz and fuss of life and look for the meaning in our lives and to respond to God’s invitation to spent time with Him and to discern the experiences in our lives. The Sisters of Providence just offered that and I experienced a wonderful way of including God in everything in my life. Thank you Sisters of Providence for allowing me to experience God’s free invitation to experience life with Him.” Cristine
“What brought me joy during the Summer Live-In Experience was the Sisters sharing of their vocation stories and ministry experiences. The prayers especially Sleeping with Bread was helpful, also the various conferences, hands-on ministry at ANAWIM (food bank) and the tour to WINGS of Providence (Women in Need Growing Stronger).” Linh
Discernment is a seeking of God’s will in my life through the inner movements of the Spirit of Love. We are called to discernment because a Christian life (vocation) is precisely a response to God’s will and call to discipleship. “Be it done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)
This response to God’s call is the only source of my real happiness in this life and hereafter. It is an act of deep gratitude on my part for all that God has done for me – how God has loved me.
Answering The Call
The earliest time I remember hearing the call to serve was in grade four while I was an altar server for mass. As I grew up, the thoughts would came back once in a while. I like to help others. Growing up, I volunteered in my school, parish and community. It was something my sisters and I had in common, serving others.
When I finished my Bachelor of Education, the call came back, but I was just not ready yet to really answer it. I focused on teaching and have had seven blessed years with the Calgary Catholic School District. It is a privilege to watch these junior high students grow and mature as teenagers each year.
In 2012, when I thought everything was settled in my life, the call came back. I have a great career, love to travel, and bought my own house. But now I am called to leave it all behind? For a year, I did nothing about this “call”. I figured it would go away as it did before. However, this time ignoring the call did not make it disappear. So I began to quietly and slowly discern. I made a silent retreat which helped me find the courage to start searching. I got into contact with several religious communities to get to know them. But nothing really significant happened until June 1, 2014 when I met the Sisters of Providence for the first time. St. Luke’s Parish hosted a Vocation Retreat which consisted of many different religious communities in Calgary. In a room filled with many sisters, I felt a strong connection to the Sisters of Providence instantly, which also scared me.
During the summer I volunteered and continued to be in contact with different religious communities. However, it was clear where I felt truly at home. This became more evident during the Summer Live-In Experience held in Edmonton with the Sisters of Providence for two weeks. The other discerners and I got to learn about their charism, community life, and to do some hands-on work in their various ministries. After summer break ended, I continued to spend time with them to have a better understanding of community life. I taught during the week and then spent every second weekend and sometimes weekdays at Providence Convent in Calgary. I participated in their prayer life and faith sharing along with the cooking and cleaning.
On this journey, I have been led by the Providence of God and this is where I have been led thus far. I am open to what God is calling me to do. I am still discerning and have a long way to go, but I took a leap of faith and said “yes” to God’s call. There is a deep peace within me and that is the peace that I follow. It is not the end result that is important, but it is the experiences along the journey that matters. On this journey I will come to develop a closer relationship with God and have a deeper understanding of His plan for me. I will cherish the people I meet and the experiences that I have along the way.
To any young women who have the slightest thoughts or inclination toward religious life, I strongly encourage you to do something about it. Do not live your life with “what ifs” or regrets later in life when you look back. Come and see for yourself. You may find out that religious life is not for you and that is o.k. At least you will know for sure and there will be no more doubts for you. And if you find out that you are indeed called to religious life, then “Do not be afraid”. God does not call you and then not give you the graces that you need to follow His plan for you.
On June 20, 2015, I entered as a candidate of the Sisters of Providence. Will there be challenges ahead? Yes, but every life has challenges and I will face them one at time as they come. Your prayers for my journey ahead are greatly appreciated.
Seasonal Reflection of Discernment during Candidacy Year with the Sisters of Providence
I entered as a Candidate of the Sisters of Providence on June 20, 2015; one day off from the official start of summer. Summer is a beautiful time with all the flowers and plants fully bloomed and fruit ready to be picked. When I entered religious life, I came with my whole self. I came with my own personality fully developed and with gifts and talents given to me by God.
After summer comes autumn; a season for transitions. And there were many transitions in my life. I sold my house and moved into Providence Convent. I went from half-time teaching to full-time teaching (I used to work with teachers the other half-time assisting them in their educational technology needs). I had to learn to balance prayer life, community life and ministry. I had to balance the need for quiet with the noisiness of everyday life. It was not an easy transition for me, but it was needed and helped me to center myself on what was important.
Following autumn comes the winter season; a time of waiting. I was in a place of peace, having found my rhythm and routine. Just as the snow and ice covers the river, it does not mean that the water is not flowing underneath. The same can be said, that when a person is still, it does not mean that God is not at work within that person. God pours his love into me in my everyday life from the people I meet, to events and moments of grace.
After winter comes spring; a time for new growth and openness. The trees and plants are forming buds which open into flowers waiting; waiting to be pollinated. This is time to be open and aware of God at work in my everyday life. To be able to see that Providence manifests itself all the time. This was a time to see life through a different lens that I had not been able to do so before.
Following spring comes summer again; a time of bearing fruit. Because the flowers were open, they were able to be pollinated and now bear fruit which contain seeds. These fruits await being broken away from the safety of their plants and shared with the animals in order that the seeds may be spread and planted elsewhere. This is where I come in my journey as I enter the next phase of my life, entering Novitiate.
The seasons will repeat themselves, as I will be continuously repeating the cycle of discernment, of growing and learning and letting go and returning to the beginning. The cycle of self-emptying is a life-long process in growing in faith and trust in God. I ask that you pray for me as I continue in my journey of life ever seeking a closer relationship to God. May all that I am and do be for his glory!
Sr. Mary Truong, SP Novice
Reflection of 2015-2016 Discernment with the Sisters of Providence
Come and See Weekend
For Catholic women who would like to know about religious life. It is an opportunity to meet Catholic sisters and learn about their lives of prayer, community and ministry.
A Conversation over Tea
For Catholic women who would like a conversation over tea about religious life. It is an opportunity to share and ask questions about life as a religious sister.Feel free to call Sister Mary Grace Valdez, SP at (587) 432-2088 or email email@example.com