My Vocation: Sr Marie of the Sacred Heart
What do the Gold Coast and Religious life have in common? Not much, but I was living there when I entered the Sisters of Nazareth.
My father being a policeman meant we lived in different places. My primary school was a state school in the Central Queensland bush. The Catholic school and church were 100 miles away.
As the hand of God would have it, a lady taught Catholic children their Catechism before school and prepared us for the Sacraments. We saw a priest once a month. Mass was in the local hall. Sisters came once a year and gathered the Catholic children for religion class. Religion was not forced upon me! I attended a Catholic girls’ secondary school.
The first inkling of a religious vocation came when I went on a Vocation Weekend after I had left school and was working in a bank. I was on “a high” and wanted to enter. My parents said no, I was too young.
I joined the Women’s Royal Australian Air Force where I travelled overseas, learned to fly, had a boyfriend, and lived in barracks learning discipline. The whole idea of a Religious vocation had gone. I was ready to leave the WRAAF and found myself looking to the Lord for inspiration.
A friend invited me on a Vocation Weekend where I met a Sister of Nazareth – THAT WAS IT! On visiting Nazareth House in Perth, I walked through the door and felt at home.I told my parents, this time they agreed. God never stopped helping me and finally I knew I was in the right place. My father said I would be home in 12 months – 31 years later my home is Nazareth House in Melbourne. It is God’s call, His way, not ours!