“God calls who he wants, by his free initiative of love. But he wants to call through us… no fear should exist in directly proposing to a young person the calls of the Lord.”
John Paul II, Message to the XX World Day of Prayer for Vocations, April 24, 1983
What did we think after we were given the assignment of going to visit schools in Ohio for a week at the end of March? “Well, we promised not to be evasive to the missionary adventure….” Ohio technically might not be considered mission territory, but this was the first time either of us had been to Ohio and any trip made for the Lord always becomes an adventure, no matter how simple it may seem at first.
The Diocese of Columbus invited us to visit Catholic elementary and high schools to give presentations about religious life and to give the students an opportunity to ask questions about “what it’s like to be a Catholic sister.” We were graciously hosted by the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist who direct and teach at St. Michael School in Worthington, OH.
During our classroom visits, the students were very respectful and genuinely interested. We explained that we were missionary sisters and that as spouses of Christ we made vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. We were impressed by the depth and sensitivity of some of the questions we were asked about religious life. What a grace to be able to see the Holy Spirit working in young souls, to witness His brightness in the generosity, enthusiasm, and magnanimity of these children and high school age men and women. May this visit have contributed in a small way to the seeds of a discernment experience for those who may be called to consecrated life in the future!
We also participated in various parish events throughout the diocese such as a Lenten Fish Fry, praying the Stations of the Cross, and a night with the youth group at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. We met many wonderful people who made us feel right at home.
As an unexpected treasure, we were introduced to a new holy friend, Blessed “Little Margaret” (b. 1287), whose incorrupt heart is displayed for veneration in her small shrine at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Columbus. She is a great intercessor for protection of all life, especially of those with special needs.
We give thanks to God for giving us the opportunity to participate in this apostolate and commend the fruits of our visit to Our Lady of the Missions, asking that she protect all youth, especially those called to the religious life and priesthood. We hope that through her intercession each youth may be able to recognize in the “longing of their restless heart” and their “yearning to possess the Infinite” a true call from the most loving God.
Sr. Hagia Sophia and Sr. Doule Kyriou