Sr Regina: A vocation discerned and livedPrint
Sr Regina Millard is the Director of Sisters in Temporary Commitment and has a role in liturgy with her local parish, St Therese’s, in Melbourne’s Essendon.
1. When did you know you had a vocation?
From about the beginning of my High School years. The college was run by the Brigidine Sisters. The Convent Chapel was at the entrance to the School and I loved going into the quiet and praying there before school began. I had an aunt, a Sister of St Joseph who was a strong influence on me in my formative years. When I left school, I went nursing.
I did 10 months of my training at St Vincent’s Darlinghurst NSW under the care of the Sisters of Charity. Again, the Chapel became an important place for me.
There was one in the Nurse’s Home. It was in one of those quiet moments I heard God’s call to become a Sister of Charity.
2. How did your family react?
They were happy if I was happy. Mum said OK but reminded me I could always come home. Even though my grandmother had been through all this before with her daughter (my aunt) she missed having me around. We had a special bond around faith and prayer and talking things over.
3. What was the process like in 1964 of joining the Sisters of Charity?
Didn’t question it, just went with the flow.There was the element of mystery in it all and realising that this decision was going to be life-changing for me. I was prepared to take the risk.
4. How many joined with you, how many left?
Nine other lovely young women entered with me, a total of ten. A mix of teachers and nurses and a mix from Victoria or NSW. This year (2017) I celebrate my Golden Jubilee of Religious Profession. The other nine chose different paths in life. They will always be part of my life story.
5. You were a nurse (in the making) – what were you keen on pursuing?
Becoming a Sister of Charity, a Registered Nurse and be able to care for the sick.
6. What is the major difference you see in Religious Life compared to when you first entered.
There is more focus now on the essentials of Religious Life and living our charism of service of the poor. We were told to leave ourselves at the door of the Novitiate!
Now there is a freedom to develop fully as an individual in the service of God and the Church. We are encouraged to express the joy of the Gospel and as Pope Francis said “to wake up the world!”