Sisters of Nazareth Share Stories of How They Were Called
Every path to the vocation to the consecrated life is different. Here two Sisters of Nazareth share their vocations stories.
Nicknamed to be a nun
By Sr Priscilla Tumulumbe Mudimba CSN
I was born into a family of five girls in Binga, Zimbabwe. At my birth, my mother had two midwives: a nun from Spain, Sr Lola CMFC, and her assistant, a married lady called Maina.
My twin sister Prisca, who was born first, was given the nickname of Maina, and I was given the nickname mukuwa Lola, meaning the white Sr Lola. So Prisca and I grew up with these nicknames, not realising that they would lead us to who we are today: Prisca is now a happily married mother; I have become a religious, like Sr Lola.
Surprisingly, when I came to the age of reasoning, my religious vocation came to me as a dream, and began to grow in me.
Still, I did not take the idea very seriously, although I loved to be involved in all the Church and parish activities.
I became quite involved with the younger children in our parish: teaching catechism, playing and drawing with them, reading Bible stories, and then praying together. This enriched my prayer life, and I hope it also enriched theirs. I enjoyed the children’s honesty, their prayers and their innocence.
I also began to enjoy spending time alone, going for walks and enjoying the beauty of the nature around me.
Later on, some time after leaving school, there was a Youth Eucharistic Congress in my parish in Binga.
During the congress I had the opportunity of much prayer and discernment before the Blessed Sacrament, and I felt a strong urge to give myself fully to God as a religious sister.
Over the next couple of years, different religious congregations came to promote vocations in the parish. Somehow it turned out that I was not there when two Sisters of Nazareth came to visit and to talk about their way of life.
But somehow, somewhere along the line, the seed must have been planted.
I had often been full of ideas and dreams about future careers, but it did not turn out the way I had expected because each time I ended up with more questions than answers, and there had to be something more that I could do to deepen my relationship with the Lord. “My Ways are not your ways…”
I eventually took that step and joined the Sisters of Nazareth.
As a pilgrim on a journey for the Kingdom of Heaven through God’s grace in imitating Jesus Christ, I pray for continuous zeal and strength, to have a humble and simple heart, and to be a true and faithful witness in my vocation.
I thank all the people who have helped me along the way — beginning with the nun who first held me, Sr Lola!
n Sr Priscilla made her first profession in 2012 and will hopefully make her final profession in a year or two. She has just moved to Port Elizabeth after being in Cape Town for almost four years where she gained experience in Child care and Elderly care.
In search of something that was missing
By Sr Agnes Mary Abrahams CSN
When I was 32, I left home in Pietermaritzburg to work in Cape Town. It was difficult to leave my parents and siblings; we were a very close and loving family and I missed them greatly.
I had also been very much in love with a wonderful man who was also my best friend, but somehow I knew this was not enough.
We broke up when I was 30. It was a very painful decision to make, but I realised that God was asking something else from me.
Moving to Cape Town was good for me in the sense that I became more independent and experienced life in a large city. I made many new friends, loved to go to parties and clubs with them, and there was always a happy, carefree atmosphere around me.
Yet somehow, again I had this strong feeling that something was missing in my life.
On my way to and from work, I would pass the local Catholic church — Corpus Christi in Wittebome — and each day I realised I was being drawn in to just sit there for a quiet visit before the Blessed Sacrament.
The more I did this, the more at home I began to feel. It was the time of the Renew movement, and I joined one of the Renew groups there.
To my joy, I met young women who had the same interests as myself and we became good friends. They also introduced me to the Schoenstatt Young Women’s League, and the times I spent with them were among the happiest times ever.
And still I felt I was being pulled even closer to give my whole life to God.
I took leave from work in order to discern what was missing in my life and what this yearning was all about. This searching led me to the moment of realisation that I was running away from what had been asked of me years before.
I felt both frightened and excited at the same time. I fought against God and tried to make excuses that this was not for me. But like a fisherman he guided me into his net.
He gave me the opportunity to love and to be loved, and to let go of all doubt. He waited and listened very patiently until at last I said: “I give up, Lord. Here I am, I am all yours!”
From then on, I felt I was being planted, rooted and ready to grow fully in Christ.
I made a visit to Nazareth House in Cape Town where I met the Sisters. The warm, joyful welcome which I received just made me all the more certain that I had come “home”—that this was where I truly belong. And it still is.
Sr Agnes made her first profession in 1998 and her final profession in 2003. She is based in Port Elizabeth but will shortly be transferred to Harare, Zimbabwe. She has been involved in child care and also catering and housekeeping. At present she is doing a formation course.
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