The Challenge of a Lifetime

Good Shepherd Sisters Our Stories

Being the youngest of a family of ten, I was born to a wealth of experience. My oldest sister was already a nun having entered the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, also known as Good Shepherd Sisters of Quebec. When I was six, my godmother and second oldest sister entered the Redemptoristines, a cloistered order in Canada. Every time we visited my sisters in the convent, they always looked so happy. They seemed so much in love with God and it showed in their love for everyone else.

That’s when I made my choice of vocation—right then and there!

The million-dollar question was, “What kind of a nun would I choose to be?”... Cloistered? Missionary? Teaching? In grammar school, I wanted to be a Marist Missionary. But then, as a high school senior, I decided to become a cloistered nun. My best friend entered the Marist Missionary Congregation the year we graduated. My spiritual director told me that he thought I was called to an active life. “Why not become a teacher?”

Having no experience in this career, the idea did not appeal to me. So I pursued my dream of contemplative life. Two years after I graduated from high school, I entered the community of the "Servantes de Jesus-Marie" in Hull, P.Q. These cloistered nuns had perpetual adoration and prayed especially for priests. Since one of my brothers was ordained and another in seminary, I liked the idea of praying for priests.

Blissfully, I lived my six months as a postulant then two years as a novice. But, before making my vows, I had to return home for medical reasons. I was resolved to return after my surgery, but God had another plan for me.

Two years later, a former teacher and Servant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, invited me to join her Community. My pastor, like my former spiritual director, believed that I truly belonged there. So I entered the same year my sister, Sister St. Jeanne d'Arc, celebrated her Silver Jubilee.

To my surprise, I loved teaching! The proof is that I taught fifty years! If I had to do it all over again, I would happily choose to take the same road!

Of course, the ministries in our community are not limited to teaching. We are missionaries, social workers, cooks, nurses, and more. Maybe God is calling you to live an active life as a religious. Whatever your call, know that our Lord is ever so patient and understanding.

Come and see! As long as you want to give yourself to God in service to others, there is a place here in our community for you. May you enjoy the challenge of pursuing your dream as much as I did! And may the Holy Spirit guide you as you discern your vocation. You are in my prayers.


Sister Bertha