Sister Catherine Martinez, OSB
I think I was destined to be a Benedictine Sister well before I would ever admit it to anyone…even to myself. I would actually go out of my way to make sure that people knew that I would not be a good candidate for religious life. Somehow in my mind being “normal” was incompatible with a religious vocation. I am a person who loves working with all kinds of people, seeks adventure and is always willing to take a risk. But I also have a more serious side that can enjoy quiet and silence (in small doses) and loves to just be.
In the back of my mind, I always knew that whatever I did with my life would include God and service to others in some concrete way. I grew up in a family that definitely saw our faith as something that went well beyond Sunday mornings at Mass. So I saw the example of my parents and my grandparents taking the Gospel message into their lives. I loved that idea and I wanted to carry it with me into adulthood.
Shortly after high school graduation, I came to a decision point in my life—my boyfriend through high school asked me to marry him. I wanted to say yes but I knew that I needed to give the thought of religious life a serious look. So I asked my boyfriend for time to think. This “thinking time” opened a whole new experience for me. Over the next two years, I continued to pray daily asking God what the plan for my life was.
Ultimately I ended up moving halfway across the country in the winter of 1984 to Missouri, where I met our Sisters. After 18 months as a live-in volunteer, I came to Saint Joseph Monastery. I have been a Benedictine Sister at Saint Joseph Monastery since August 1985. I can honestly say that I have found what God had planned for me in life. I have grown as a person in ways that I would never have imagined. I have been happier here that I could have been anywhere else.
If you think God might be calling you to religious life, pray for the openness to be willing to answer God’s call.