“Do not be afraid. It will be strange, it will be new…”
I watched the video clips of several sisters that were embedded in the vocations page of the Community’s website. Each one seemed to say the same thing. It touched me deeply. So I listened “with the ear of my heart” and contacted the vocation director.
That was mid-2008. A year-and-a-half later, after completing dual masters degrees, I left New Orleans, my hometown and the only place I had ever lived, to move to the Northland for religious life. On February 3, 2010, I pulled into St. Scholastica Monastery after having driven almost 1500 miles. A week later, on the Vigil of the Feast of St. Scholastica, I entered my Community as a Postulant, walked into the cloistered area where the Sisters lived, and began my journey here.
Looking farther back into my life story, I now see just how far back my calling to Benedictine life went. My parents were married on the Feast of St. Benedict! I also realized how many of the characteristics and values of a monastic St. Benedict described in his Rule that I possessed as a child and adult. My life’s journey has been like a butterfly transforming in a cocoon and then bursting forth; a seed breaking through the soil with color; an authentic voice and identity being realized in a life of seeking God.
This is not to say it’s been easy. It has been “strange” and “new” – and difficult at times – for this southern girl now transplanted into the Northland of Duluth, Minnesota. But I have been and will continue to be strengthened by God’s grace as well as the support of a Community that makes this sacred journey home to God with me. Looking back, I am filled with awe and gratitude. Moving ahead into an unknowable future, I have hope in God’s promises. This gives me joy in the present moment.
As you look back at your life and reflect on how God is calling you now, do you hear God inviting you to consider consecrated life? If so, do not be afraid…
Sister Ann Marie Wainright
Sister Ann Marie Wainright is a Benedictine Sister of St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth, Minnesota. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, she worked as a CPA for many years before earning dual masters degrees in counseling and pastoral studies. Sister Ann Marie is interested how people encounter God in their daily lives and how they use their faith and spirituality in meeting difficult challenges.