Vocation stories

Sister Maimbolwa

When God says YES…

My vocation story started at an early age when I became acquainted with a Holy Cross Sister who worked at the hospital where my mother worked.  Sister even gave me a small veil which I sometimes wore at home pretending to be a Sister.

Maimbolwa-photoThe desire to become a Sister was rekindled when I was in eighth grade.  I saw a vocation brochure for the Sisters of the Holy Spirit on the notice board of my parish church.  As I read it, I remember feeling without a doubt that this was MY congregation.  I began communicating with the Sisters and attended my first “Come and See.”  Two years later, when I finished high school, with the approval of my mother, I entered with the Sisters to begin my formation in Mongu.

After First Vows I began college to train as a secondary school teacher. Five years later, with great joy, I made my Perpetual Profession in the presence of my family and many relative and friends.

In Jeremiah we read “I called you before you were born, in your mother’s womb I anointed you.”  God said “YES” and it was a yes with which I resonated, even before I was born.  I am grateful that when God called I received the grace to say a resounding YES to that call.

My blessings and joy of being a Holy Spirit Sister are overflowing.  I have been able to reach out to my own Zambian people who are living on the margins of society.  I continue to live that YES that God and I  together chose.  I say to young people who are searching, if you feel that call deep in your heart every so often, simply say “YES” and begin to live your life fully.

Sister Janet

I was born a seeker and a searcher…

Janet-voc-storyWhen I was growing up there was a song called “Looking for love in all the wrong places” which seems to sum up my young adult years.  I was born a seeker and a searcher, so looking for love and happiness was who I was.
When I was 32 years old and recovering from a failed marriage and a painful divorce, I received an invitation to attend a retreat with the Sisters of the Holy Spirit with whom I had been an aspirant many years earlier.  That retreat clarified my search for love as the search for the Divine within.

I entered the Sisters of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate in August 1983 at age 34 and my life started anew.  As a registered nurse working in Hospice I had many opportunities to manifest God’s love and compassion to hurting people and their families.

Another call to work with the poorest of the poor led me to the Western Province of Zambia where I worked with HIV/AIDS patients and with malnourished babies.

I left Zambia in 2006 to care for my mother who had Alzheimer’s and I am currently ministering to our Sisters at the motherhouse.

My heart is full of gratitude to God for having called me to this way of life and for all the love generously showered on me by all the people who have touched my life.

Sister Kathleen

I dreamed of teaching children in a foreign land.

OConnell-voc-storyThe seeds of my vocation were planted at an early age.  We received many missionary magazines in my home and I was fascinated by the pictures and the stories of the missionaries.  I dreamed of teaching children in a foreign land.

As a teenager I pushed that dream aside.  I even asked God not to ask me to be a Sister.  I was busy with my studies and enjoying an active social life with my school friends.  However, in my last year of high school various groups of Sisters visited our school recruiting vocations.  None of them interested me until two Holy Spirit Sisters came.  Hearing them rekindled my childhood desire and after making a novena to the Holy Spirit, I decided that was where God was calling me.

My parents were sad that I was going so far away but they gave me their blessing and soon I was on my way to San Antonio.  After my time in formation and study, my childhood dream became a reality as I began my first teaching assignment in St. Joseph, Missouri.

My life as a Sister brought many changes and surprises.  I was privileged to spend over 20 years in ministry to the indigenous people of Oaxaca, Mexico.

I now live in retirement in our Motherhouse and I give thanks to God for all the graces and blessings I have received and for all the people that have enriched my life over the years.