A former parishioner of St. Joseph Catholic Church and now a parishioner of St. Patrick's in Kathleen, GA, Kay Duryea is a wonderful teenager who believes she has a calling from God for the religious life. She is now an aspirant for the Dominican Sisters of Mary, the Mother of the Eucharist. God bless you in your discernment!
From the Dominican Sisters website:
“We know that in everything God works for good with those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28). I have been discerning my religious vocation all of my life. What started out as a child’s play of a “Sister runs orphanage” with my siblings, eventually turned into a curious internet search for various religious orders by the age of twelve. I continued my inquiries with greater and greater interest, but when I turned fourteen, I made an effort to put the desire aside. I felt pressured by my peers. I pushed God away and forced myself to say that I was supposed to get married. I said that I wanted a husband, kids, and a house of my own, yet I still had a longing for something greater. Later that summer, I went to Mississippi to visit my Grandma and while I was at Mass, I looked across the church and I saw three sisters, in full habit, praying. My mom told me that I should go and talk to them, so after Mass I did. Talking to them again sparked my interest. When I got home, I started to seek out my vocation once more.
The following summer, I went back to Mississippi and went to the same church again. This time, I spoke with seven sisters. They were the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. As soon as I got home I looked at their website. It captured my attention. I got really excited when I saw that they allowed sixteen year olds to go on their retreats. The only problem was they were all the way in Michigan. I knew that my parents would be uncomfortable sending me on a plane, and it was definitely too far to drive. So, I pushed that idea out of my head and went back to wondering what God wanted me to do. I looked into all different kinds of occupations; nursing, the navy, and other medical careers. These things, however, did not fill my emptiness.
God is good! In November of 2009, Elizabeth Cavanaugh, a mom in our home school group, called the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist and invited them to come and talk to our group. They agreed. Sr. Joshua Mary and Sr. Jude Andrew came down to Georgia. They were amazing! I was intrigued with the fact that they were young, energetic women that still wore the full habit. As I was leaving, Sr. Jude Andrew invited me to come to their retreat in February. I told my parents, and they both agreed that I should go.
When I arrived at the Motherhouse, the sisters were in Adoration. I prayed before the monstrance and I just knew immediately that I was home. Sr. Joseph Andrew agreed as well and gave me an application, despite being just shy of my seventeenth birthday. Since then, the time has flown, from finishing school at an accelerated rate, to getting physically and spiritually ready for my entrance on August 28th. It has been challenging, yet wonderful too, as I had the support of my family and friends. The people of my home parish of St. Patrick and our rector, Fr. Nicholas Mansell, have overwhelmed and humbled me by their support.
I thank God that the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist opened both their hearts and their doors for me. I know that with the grace of the Holy Spirit, Our Lady’s help, and the loving support of this community, I will be able to live out my vocation.