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Vocations Information... Vocational Stories  
"The Happiness I was looking for..."
By Sr. Joan Silva, (Brazilizn, working in Scotland)

To become a Religious Sister is not only a matter of putting on a “grey veil”; it involves your whole being: mind, body and soul. And no moment of life escapes it. I believe that we are happy when we give our whole self to our own life’s commitment. To be happy doesn't mean to live without hardships.

In a family of seven children, life was quite joyful, sometimes noisy too at home. Being the oldest, Dad had dreams for me. But Mum woke him up: “Let her go. Let’s hope that that will be the happiness she is looking for”.

As I look back, I can still see myself turning the pages of our Mother Foundress biography, ‘Go out to the Whole World’.I could not stop admiring her. Mary Theresa Ledóchowska had a heart as big as the world, and it fired with love for the missions.

In 1913 she said in a Conference at Vienna: “The task of my life and of the Society to which I belong, is precisely to arouse an ever greater interest in the missions, and if possible to make it take root in every heart. And what hearts could be more sensitive to this than the hearts of young people.

In the beginning it was hard to get used to the “new life”. Now, nine years later, I found out that life doesn’t get older at all. Every turning point calls me always for a decision. Three years ago my father passed away. My world fell apart. I wish I could say things started getting better some months later. But they didn’t. For weeks and months I was in a daze. My only comfort was my faith. And the Lord repeated the words he said to the Prophet Jeremiah: “Do not be afraid. For I am with you” (1:8). It was a long, slow climb out of the shadows.

Every person I meet is an unwrapped gift of God to me. Every “cheerio” makes me wonder: Where does this word come from? And the adventure starts anew: and each new “today” marks a new start in my life.

By God’s grace I can say with Jeremiah:


“Your message, Lord, is like a fire burning deep within me”. (20:9)
“You spoke to me, and I listened to every word. I belong to you, Lord God Almighty, and so my heart was filled with joy and happiness." (15:16)



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