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The story of vocation takes on different colours in retrospect. Developments, changes, new tasks… This is the case for me. I think that a vocation to religious life ripens like the evangelical fruits of the vine. Sometimes we cannot see them but the Lord waits patiently and fertilises the vine so that it grows and bears fruit, even though we think otherwise.

As a little girl, I liked long dresses and constantly walked on tiptoe, dreaming of becoming a ballerina. Raised in a religious family, I couldn’t imagine not singing the Litany of Loretto or praying to my Guardian Angel. With time, the ballerina’s enthusiasm dimmed but the sentiment for the Litany remained. In secondary school, I longed to become a nun. I was moved by the testimony of a Felician Sister who spoke about her vocation in religion class. I wanted to become a nun straight away. I was not yet of age, so I needed my parents’ permission which I did not get. My family tried to convince me to pass my secondary school leaving certificate and then, if it was really a vocation, to go to a convent. They hoped I wouldn’t go; that I would forget; that I would start a family. I was convinced by them. I passed my baccalaureate and took up theological studies. I thought that maybe religious life wasn’t really my path and that God would somehow diplomatically persuade me that theology, or more precisely family studies at the Faculty of the Catholic University of Warsaw, would be enough. I decided to enjoy life. I met new people, took up various jobs, acquaintances, friends but something was missing. I still didn’t feel at home. Until one day I came to Warsaw to help my uncle priest to set up in the new parish he was taking over. It was the Church of Our Lady of Loretto (coincidence?). Through the window of the vicarage I saw two Loretto women and I froze. I thought then that I certainly wouldn’t put something like that on my head. Oh, no! In time I got to know the sisters better. I went to the shrine of Our Lady of Loretto and there the decision was made. I remember that day very well. It was December, just before the anniversary of martial law in Poland. As I found out later, at that time the sisters also brought the statue of Our Lady to the shrine. In front of Mary and Blessed Father Ignacy Kłopotowski, I said my “yes” to Jesus. What was going on in my heart at that moment cannot be described. I finally felt peace and certainty that this was it. Eight years ago I made my perpetual vows and I am in the Church and for the Church. I wish courage to every young person who is searching for their path. I know how difficult the time of searching for answers is but it is worth going through it to find your home with Someone who truly loves without measure.

Sister Maria Miannik


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