‘I felt the calling aged three’: The women who devote their lives to GodPrint
They take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, but the lives of nuns or religious sisters tend to be a mystery to many of us on the outside. How do they give up love, passion and having children for something a significant number of us aren’t too sure even exists? Dilvin Yasa reports for Fairfax’s Sunday Life magazine…
Sister Moira O’Sullivan, congregational historian for the Sisters of Charity, the Catholic Church’s longest-serving women’s religious order in Australia (here since 1838), understands the confusion. She explains that because there is no real reason for religious life, except the conviction that God is offering a special relationship, it’s hard for anyone without strong faith to find value in it.
“In spite of thinking before entering the convent that we were doing something for God, by giving up marriage and children, we find that instead, God has lavished more on us and we have to keep thanking God for the privilege,” she says. “It’s unfortunate if anyone looks at us and thinks we’ve missed out.”
Far from missing out, active religious sisters are out in force, demonstrating the love of God through their work in health and aged care, education, social services and issues of social justice. Here are three of their stories.