by Bernice Asare-Badu, candidate, Ghana
It has only been a few years since I first met with the Sisters of the Holy Cross in my parish at the funeral of the sister of Brother Joseph Tsiquaye, CSC. However, my memory of this encounter remains clear and is filled with joy. Candidly speaking, that meeting completely changed my life.
One of the things that I have always been proud of is following my heart and allowing myself to do God’s will. Today, everything seems to be very different from the time I was discerning a vocation. Here in Holy Cross, things are very structured, which keeps my life in shape and helps me to stay connected with God. My stay here comes with a lot of blessings, and I love to describe them in the categories of spirituality, community and ministry.
Prayer is the center of the sisters’ lives. I have come to appreciate this also. The strength I draw from our togetherness in prayer helps me to love God and makes me feel special in his sight. My experience with the prayers of the liturgical seasons, songs sung and our relationship and connection to nature makes me feel the true presence of God.
The care I see sisters give to one another clearly exemplifies the mission statement “our lives together.” I also am a beneficiary of such care and love. Experiencing this love has encouraged me to share my love with all people. The relationship and the deep respect I see sisters share with each other and all people again encourages me to learn to do likewise. As I live with the sisters, I learn that the dignity of the human person comes first.
Another thing I have appreciated is watching the sisters nurture children with love. The education they provide for the students not only develops their minds, but their hearts as well. This helps in preparing the children adequately to become responsible adults and citizens of our country. The compassionate hearts of the sisters lead people to share their problems freely. My ministry of handing out learning materials, student IDs, bus cards and, at one point, teaching, gave me an opportunity to interact with new people and I am very glad I did.
With these experiences and many more to come, I ask God to grant me, and all people discerning a vocation, especially in our Congregation, the grace to stay focused and to love and appreciate the gift of one another. I ask for guidance and perseverance to continue to be open to the direction of the Spirit.