:: Are you hearing God’s call?

Sr. Joan Gallagher

Sr. Joan Gallagher

Would hearing stories about some amazing women help you? Hopefully, this blog written by our sisters in formation who are candidates, novices and sisters who have made temporary vows can help you.

These women spent time discerning how God was calling them. Was it to be a wife, mother, a single woman or a sister in religious life? How to decide what community of religious women? How was God speaking to them? And how does God continue speaking to their hearts as they experience the different stages of religious life? Hopefully, their sharing will speak to your heart and help you on your own journey.

As vocation director for the Sisters of Providence, Mother Joseph Province, I am honored to walk with women who are discerning their life’s call. I enjoy introducing them to our community, allowing them to meet the sisters and hear their stories, to hear why they became Sisters of Providence and to hear about their exciting ministries.

What a joy it is to share our spirituality, history and experiences!

I entered religious life 45 years ago. In September of 1966 my parents, my six brothers and two sisters traveled with me from Puyallup, Wash., to Lacey, Wash., as I began my journey as a sister. I still can remember that early morning. I was so excited. My parents were very supportive of my call to be a sister and I’m not sure all of my brothers and sisters really understood it. The sisters were so welcoming. That morning began my journey of many adventures with this new “family.”

During these 45 years I have been blessed with a good education as I prepared to be a teacher, loved my student teaching of second graders, and then onto high school teaching, and eventually to parish youth ministry. My love of parish ministry led to my master’s degree in Theology and positions as pastoral associate in the Northwest. God continued to bless me! In 1994 I was asked by my community to become vocation director. What a joy it has been to meet so many wonderful women searching for the way to follow God’s call in their lives. I just want them to experience God’s love and find where they are being called.

This year, our province will have 11 women in all stages of exploring their call to religious life. Two women are living in our Come & See House in Seattle as they experience the life of a Sister of Providence. We presently have one candidate and one new novice. Two of our novices recently made temporary vows. Five of our sisters in temporary vows are continuing their education and their ministries. This blog will share their experiences as they continue on their spiritual journeys with the Sisters of Providence.

We look forward to sharing and dialoguing with you.

Joan Gallagher, SP
Vocation Director
Sisters of Providence, Mother Joseph Province

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