If you want to see joy, look no further than the members of religious life. You will find them in many areas of ministry here at our conferences, from ushers to working the bookstore. Although they are great at these tasks, they are also a gift simply by their presence here.
Sr. Maria Josefa and Sr. Anna Maria are two of the religious sisters here this weekend. They are Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus. If you get the chance to hang out with them, do not turn it down. As they walk across the campus of Missouri State, their joy simply attracts people. They are constantly seeing someone they know and greeting them like they are the only person in the world.
One group tried to stick a plastic spoon into Sr. Anna Maria’s habit (it had a Bible verse on it), which lead to a whole lot of laughter and gained her 30 new friends.
It is a privilege to watch God use them to love people.
Living their Vocation
As religious sisters, their day-to-day life can look a bit different than what we are used to. So why do they commit to this life?
Sr. Maria Josefa explains that, for her, there is great joy in simply doing God’s will in her life. In their order, the lifestyle is a 3-legged stool of community, prayer, and apostolate: they live together growing closer to Christ, are rooted in prayer, and serve in a day care and retirement home. Sr. Anna Maria says that this feels totally natural as they “breathe in Christ and breathe out Christ.”
Both sisters have been to Steubenville before. In fact, Sr. Anna Maria has been to seven or eight, several before she entered the religious life. Laughing, Sister explains that while at her first Steubenville (which was at Main Campus) she snuck through as an 8th grader. However, it worked out. She remembers standing that year for the vocation call, and years later she is busy living out her vocation.
Sr. Anna Maria has only been to Steubenville once before, as a volunteer just after she joined the Carmelites, but both sisters are joyfully awaiting the events of the weekend. They lit up describing what it is like to watch so many teenagers discover a relationship with Jesus, whether for the first time or the hundredth.
If you are lucky enough to see one of these ladies walking around campus, don’t be afraid to go say hello! They would love to meet you.