annjoachimYesterday, September 8, the Church celebrated the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Dawn of Salvation.   Many homilies and reflections for this feast day draw us back to those who prepared the way for Jesus through the birth of His Immaculate Mother: Saints Anne and Joachim.

For, behind every vocation there stand the parents…sometimes willing supporters of their children’s vocations, sometime reluctant by-standers to the mystery of God’s work: usually a mixture of both!  No doubt the surprise, the separation, and the concern of parents must be great when they see the child whom they have nurtured and raised suddenly take an unexpected path.

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Jerónimo Jacinto de Espinosa (1600-1667), Spanish Baroque

But as many parents can attest to, the religious vocation in a son or daughter with time gives rise to great peace, joy, and unexpected blessings—both in their child and in their own families.

We wish to share two articles (one new, one old) which explore the story of “the parents behind religious vocations.”

Kmetz-article

The Diocese of Tulsa featured an article on Sr. Mary Servant of the Cross, SSVM and her twin Br. Andy Kmetz, IVE in the Eastern Oklahoma Catholic August 2015 edition:
“Sacrifice for a Higher Purpose: Kmetz family transformed by religious life”

miola-article

First Things included an essay entitled “Sisters & Daughters” in their August 2009 edition written by Professor Robert Miola about his two daughters in our community, Sr. Maria del Fiat, SSVM and Sr. Maria Panagia, SSVM, both now perpetually professed.

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In this Year of Consecrated Life let us continue to reflect on the gift of religious vocations in the Church and consider that the Lord prepares and calls vocations from the “domestic church”: the family.  May Our Lady, St. Anne and St. Joachim bless and accompany all those who have been called to give one (or more) of their children to the service of the Lord and His Kingdom.

a religious with her father, sister and nephew

a religious with her father, sister and nephew during a visit at the convent