March 10, 2021

The Story of My Vocation: Sr. Mary Philomena

Sr. Mary Philomena has been taking part in a ChristLife small group study and recently shared her story with her small group. She wants to share it with you!

I grew up in a family that did not attend Mass on a regular basis. My mom was a cradle Catholic, and my dad did not convert until I was about 12. At the age of 10, I felt the need to attend Mass each Sunday, so I asked my grandma if she would pick me up and take me. Every Sunday I got myself up and ready for her to pick me up. After my dad’s conversion I would go with him.

Throughout my life I feel I had many conversion moments when I accepted Jesus in my life, but awhile after those moments, I would slip back into the way of the world. Even though I was not living the life, I should I always went to Sunday Mass. One reason my conversion moments did not last during that time is that my parents weren’t strong in their faith to help support and guide me.

When I was a young adult my parents had deep conversion. They attended a Life in the Spirit seminar at our parish and had a more profound conversion. I had seen a transformation in their faith. They began attending a weekly prayer group and invited me to join them at different group functions or at their prayer group meetings. I would decline, thinking it wasn’t for me.

Then a protestant counselor moved to town, and I had to talk with her frequently. I worked in a group home for mentally disabled adults, and she was their counselor. One day she asked me if I knew of any prayer groups she could join. The only group I knew of was the one that my parents attended, and she asked me if I would go with her. I said I would. My parents were excited to hear that I would be attending the next meeting.

At that meeting I began my transformation and eventually accepted Jesus in my life. From that time I began to grow in my faith, and it was there that when someone was praying over me, I got the overwhelming sense that God was calling me to religious life. I reluctantly began the journey to find the community God was calling me to be His spouse. At the time I gave my boss a one year notice, and a year later I entered the Sister Servants where I continue my journey in growing with the Lord.