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Sister Maria Lourdes Cleto has been a Sister of Providence for 50 years and is working with other vocation Sr. Maria Lourdes Cletodirectors in Eastern Washington doing Twilight Retreats at Gonzaga University, and Busy Persons Retreats at Gonzaga University, Washington State University and Central Washington University. Earlier, she worked for many years in Seattle at St. Edward Parish. Sister Maria was born and raised in the Philippines and came to Seattle to join the Sisters of Providence.

I was called to work as a team member for our vocation ministry of the Sisters of Providence. I attributed this call as God’s invitation and action in my religious life. It is a commitment of service and an enrichment of my personal faith journey. Spirituality for me is living the fruits of the Holy Spirit, to create, to discern the invitation to live the Spirit’s action in my religious life. The CALL is a commitment of service, enrichment of my personal faith journey, to fully experience the sacred space of God living within.

Vocation ministry is recognizing and receiving the gifts of women who are discerning where God’s grace can grow in their lives. Yearly, our Vocation Team members are committed to inviting young women to join and experience the Busy Persons Retreat (BPR). It involves five days’ commitment with their spiritual director for prayer and reflections. The students are given spiritual materials for their reflection time. Gonzaga University and Washington State University have been generous in welcoming the sisters and priest as spiritual ministers to be present to the students’ days of reflection.

Another reflective opportunity the sisters offer to young women is an evening Twilight Retreat, a five-hour opportunity for guided meditation, shared prayer and reflection. Time also is given to meet with individual sisters, if so desired. The evening session ends with the women journaling their faith experience.