A Surprise Turn of Events

Good Shepherd Sisters Our Stories

We never know where God will lead us if we remain open to His call!

I came from a poor family of ten children. The sisters who taught me in grades 1-3 were very good to me and made a favorable impression on me. They helped me and yet didn't make me feel less than the other children in school who probably had more material things in life than I. From that time on, I always remained close to the sisters and thought the Lord was calling me to minister to orphan children.

When I was a freshman in high school, I visited the novitiate of the Grey Nuns in Lowell, Massachusetts where I lived. I thought if I were to enter religious life, this is where I would go. These were the only sisters I knew.

In my sophomore year of high school, in a surprise turn of events, I went to St. Anne's Orphanage in Methuen, Massachusetts and attended St. Theresa's High School. This was the first time I lived outside of the city of Lowell. The Good Shepherd Sisters taught at this school. This was my first exposure to these sisters and I knew then, that this was the religious community I wanted to enter. This is where God was calling me! Why else did He make it possible for me to get to know these sisters?

I kept in contact with the sisters and in 1950, when I graduated from Salem High School, I asked my admission into this religious community. I was advised to wait a year as I was rather frail and sickly. I worked a year and finally, in September of 1951, I entered the Good Shepherd Sisters in Bay View. Before the end of my second year of training in the novitiate, the superiors told me that I was too sickly to become a sister. It was a sad day when I left the convent. I questioned my vocation and even God's plan! However, I told myself that I would return!

I never regretted my decision to become a religious and I pray
each day that I may
live out my religious commitment to the
best of my ability.

I waited, prayed, and worked for almost a year. Since I still felt the call to religious life, I asked to re-enter the convent. The permission to re-enter was granted to me and to three other women. When it came time for my religious profession a year later, I was the only one remaining since the other three women had left during the year. Why did God choose me and not them? In a family of ten children, why was I the one called to religious life?

My family was supportive of my decision but some questioned why I would want to shut myself up in the convent. On February 15, 1955, I pronounced my first vows as a religious in the Congregation of the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, better known as the Good Shepherd Sisters of Quebec.

In my 48 years of vowed life, I could tell you many stories of how God directed my life, how he put the right people at the right time in my life, and how events happened at the time they did because God had plans for me. My goal in life has always been to do God's will, wherever he called me, however he called me, and for whatever time he wanted me in a certain place or ministry.

There has been much variety in my life. I have been housemother, student, teacher, principal, superior, counselor, social worker in two nursing homes, and Adoption Worker at St. Andre Home, where I presently minister.

I never regretted my decision to become a religious and I pray each day that I may live out my religious commitment to the best of my ability.

God also has plans for you. I pray that you may be opened to His challenge.

Sister Theresa