I applied only to the Salvatorians; my application was accepted, and I became a SDS Candidate for one year in August of 2013. As a Candidate, I was free during June and July of 2014, so I contacted my Vietnamese friends in Seattle and here in Milwaukee to see about visiting and engaging in some missionary service. That June I went to Saigon for a month, officially as a tourist.
I have wanted to go to Vietnam for nearly 10 years. I also decided not just to vacation but to “jump in with both feet” to see if I was cut out for missionary ministry “at my age.§ As it turned out, my connection set me up teaching English to the Daughters of St. Paul two to five times a day. After only two weeks of teaching, I recognized that I am not too old for missionary service and that I was full of peace with the life I was living there. This confirmed my calling to missionary service. I spent July with the Salvatorian Formation houses in Manila, Philippines. Again, I felt at ease and at peace.
Since August 2014, I have been in the Novitiate, discerning my call, studying about the Salvatorians: ministry, mission, charism, history, and where we serve today. Through personal and Salvatorian discernment, I asked to take First Profession of Vows, and the Salvatorians agreed. I took my vow on August 9th here in Milwaukee, WI, and have returned to the seminary to continue studies for priesthood.
Thank you, all who welcomed me so kindly to the Affiliate Meetings and who gave me insights into your mission trips overseas.Those mission chats and meetings, talking with Fr. McCahill, MM, (from Bangladesh) about his ministry, and reading email updates, have kept me focused on overseas ministry. Although I am an “older vocation,” Maryknoll still influences my life. At gatherings of the Inter-Community Novitiate (ICN) Program in Chicago, both Maryknoll men and women have been present. Novices Mara Rutten and Tom Fagan are both moving forward with their call to religious life with Maryknoll.
And thank you for being witnesses to the gospel. You have attracted others to God and have attracted me to the vocation of consecrated life. My path is to become a Salvatorian apostle for our times. With our own personal charisms, Salvatorian priests, brothers, sisters, and the laity minister as equals to proclaim the Savior to all. This Salvatorian charism has assisted me in deciding to make my First Profession of Vows