Sister Darla Jean Vogelsang

In a recent Community gathering, we became acquainted with the usefulness of our Community WEB page and the tab “Becoming a Nun” in introducing today’s questioning young women to our Ursuline way of life.

I began to reflect – what made me pursue becoming a nun fifty years ago?   Was it the inspiring HM and OSU women religious of my formative elementary and high school years back in the fifties?   Was it my love for

Sister Darla Jean Vogelsanchildren and a desire to be a teacher that drew me to the Youngstown Ursulines? Was it my appreciation for the Church’s liturgy, especially Eucharist, sparked in seventh grade religion class? Was it an inner urge to prepare for an adult life that had purpose and meaning? Was it God’s providence - God’s call? Whatever the inspiration, I began the process of becoming a nun right after high school graduation with a sense that this is what God wanted me to do. In the beginning of my “becoming”, I was totally unaware of what “being a nun” meant – but I was ready and willing to enter the process and soon learned it meant a life time of prayer, growth, formation, discipline, sacrifice, and a new way of being in relationship with God, with my family, my Community, the Church and the world at large. My life as an Ursuline Sister has been formative, enriching, rewarding and I am still “becoming a nun”.

In my reading, I grab hold of quotes that inspire me and use them for spiritual snacks.   A recent quote I have been chewing on applies well to the process of becoming a nun.  It is from the memoir of Margaret Brennan, an IHM sister from Monroe Michigan:  “What Was There For Me Once”.  Margaret, a 70-something nun,  states that religious life is primarily a call to reclaim a way of life organized to pursue the human quest for God.    “To keep the question of God – and God’s questions – high on the horizon of the world is worth the gifts of our lives.” My quest for a deeper and more sustaining relationship with God, a way of living my life in response to God’s questions and call to make life better for others – is worth the gift of my life.   And so, in my becoming, I keep on giving and in the process get back so much more.

To women curious about “becoming a nun”, allow your curiosity to take you to that deep level of questioning your relationship with God and how you answer the God-questions that come to you in your journey of becoming who God intends you to be.  If you are drawn to a particular religious community, assess the members and their ministry and ask:    “Is this group a good fit for me?  Are they still becoming?  And can I be a part of the gift of their lives ?”