Sr. Ann Marie
GOD HAS A SENSE OF HUMOUR
I was born in the United States the eldest of three children. After high school I worked as a secretary and enjoyed doing volunteer work with several groups of young people including teaching catechism. I also had the opportunity to minister with a group of lay women for a year in a very rural area in the United States where we taught catechism and did house visiting for parishes. My plan at that time in my life was to get married and have a large family and perhaps my husband and I would go to help in the foreign missions. I hoped that one of my children would be called to the priesthood or religious life.
The thought of religious life did not come to me until I was in my twenties. A woman at work was talking about some contemplative communties she had visited and one of them really impressed her with their spirit of joy and happiness. She said she thought that they were called the Redemptoristines. My ears perked up and those words struck a chord in my heart that kept coming back again and again. I was very surprised to think that the Lord would call me but yet, the thought persisted. The possibilty of being a teaching sister or a nursing sister had no appeal for me. They were too limited. You could only teach so many children or nurse so many patients but prayer has no limits. It was the gracious loving Lord who became our Redeemer. Through a life totally committed to prayer, praise, thanksgiving and intercession I have found my call to love in its fullest form.
The first 25 years after profession were spent at our monastery in Liguori near St. Louis, Missouri USA. I was then missioned to our foundation in a Zulu area of South Africa where we were affectionally called by the people
“The Church Ladies or the Sisters that always pray.” Our community there was also a witness that people from various cultures and races could live together in harmony. This was a powerful witness to the country just trying
to emerge from the evils of apartheid.
After some 15 years in that challenging and blessed time I returned to our monastery at Liguori. Some 10 or so years later, the world was rocked by the pandemic. A number of our Sisters were called home to the Lord and we did not have enough Sisters to continue to make the Liguori monastery viable. After prayer and discernment I asked to transfer to the Dublin community with whom we share the common charism of Blessed Maria Celeste Crostarosa. By way of history, the Dublin community would be the great grandmother of Liguori. We have much in common.
Here I am now in the land known for shamrocks and saints. It is some 52 years later. Yes, I am glad that God does have a sense of hunour and I feel very blessed.