03 Aug 2019
Sustained by Jesus
The Southern Cross newspaper – August 2019
My destiny was to be a Religious Sister! My destiny was to be a Josephite!
My mother prayed to St Gerard Majella, patron of Religious, for one of her children to be a Religious.
Our house was a house of welcome to Josephite Sisters, priests and Brothers. I had two uncles who were Marist Brothers.
So, I became a Josephite Sister and have been for some years. My question now is ‘Why do I stay?’.
I truly believe in my heart of hearts that I am called to be here in this place, in this time, I am ‘home’. My relationship with my God, who I call Jesus, sustains me through thick and thin in my life adventures.
I try each day to do as Mary MacKillop encourages us all to do: ‘Listen to the Whisperings of God in your heart’ (1868). This listening encourages me to know who God is for me, this then helps me to understand and know what life means for me. God is my wellspring, and I draw on this spring each day of my life. At times the ‘spring’ can be dry, but I go back to listening.
I am committed each day, as a Sister of Saint Joseph, to live wholeheartedly the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience that I proclaimed ‘yes’ to more than 40 years ago.
I am sometimes asked how can I be celibate in the world in which we live. It sounds odd, but I have engraved on my commitment ring ‘He is Enough’. My God to whom I committed myself all those years ago has indeed been ‘enough’ for me. My Josephite community, my extended family, my many friends draw me closer to God by my interactions through their friendship.
My final words to anyone who is ‘wondering’ about their future life is to practise the art of ‘listening’ to oneself, others and especially to God who may be calling you to live life to the full as a Religious Sister, Brother or priest.
I have, and I would not change my life for any reason.
Sr O’Sullivan is a member of the Josephite community in Adelaide and pastoral associate to the Deaf Community.