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The Lord found me and did not let me escape

Pan znalazł mnie i nie pozwolił uciec

The Lord found me on the periphery, in a far corner of Poland, a so-called colony of villages located in the municipality of Suchowola which is the centre of Europe. It is such a paradox. And I – the first child of my parents – did not run away, although I wanted to do so in a time of rebellion, drowning out His voice in my conscience, but finally allowed myself to be swept away by His love and invited on the path to which He Himself drew me.

I left my parents’ house the summer after my high school graduation at the age of 19. I went on a evangelisation journey not to Africa – which was my dream – but to my heart. I was captivated by Loretto, I felt as if I were in heaven here. Earlier, the Lady of Częstochowa had reassured me in my decision when I reached her on foot in a 17-day pilgrimage.

And although I tried to run away from Jesus, He never allowed me to neglect the sacraments and prayer.

The Lord did not give me a specific word – at least I do not associate it now, as I usually listen with my heart and take the word for the moment – but He gave me a great sense of closeness to His Mother who firmly took me under her mantle and holds me safely there.


How shall I repay the Lord for all that he has done for me? Yes indeed, my heart is filled with gratitude for what has happened to me. I did not want to be a nun, but after 24 years since I entered the congregation I can see that a vocation is a great grace which brings happiness that the world cannot give and which I did not deserve in any way.

It was Jesus who chose me out of so many much better girls from my environment. He loved me so much that even drowning out His voice in my conscience – FOLLOW ME – did not allow me to escape. For almost four years I dated a boy. I went to parties almost regularly every week – I was desperately looking for happiness and love. But what I was getting were mere substitutes of love. It was during a pilgrimage that Mary pointed out to me the true love – her Son who is faithful and constantly loves despite our departures, falls and weaknesses. I guess it’s such a sense of humour from the Lord Jesus because when I told my family about my decision to follow Jesus, I don’t think anyone believed me too much, although my mother and grandmother rejoiced. And they immediately started praying for me more.


In my family we ended the year and began it in the same way – with the rosary prayer. In May, we sang the Litany of Loretto at the shrine in the village. And every Lent we lived in strict fasting and sang the three parts of Lamentations twice a week. Through this recollection, I want to express my immense gratitude to the Lord God for the fact that at home I learnt both to pray and to have a great sensitivity of heart and kindness towards others – I especially owe this to dad for whom the person in need was the most important. At home, I also learned to endure suffering, hardship and adversity patiently and to be hardworking. I learned the delicacy of a righteous conscience – it was always clear to me and my many siblings what was right and what was wrong. And even though things were not “overflowing” at home, we were happy because we loved each other very much.

I am grateful for a home where we felt the warmth of a family of three generations, even though there was no shortage of suffering and illness. I am thankful for a clear upbringing and this example of a living faith.

My life is very much linked to Our Lady and the rosary. The family parish is dedicated to Our Lady Help of the Faithful. I have often prayed the rosary. I made two pilgrimages to Jasna Góra. My grandparents and parents belonged to the Living Rosary – now I do too! As a child at home I experienced the visitation of a copy of the Miraculous Image of Madonna from Jasna Góra. During my secondary school years, every day, before going to school, we would first go to the parish church of Blessed Father Jerzy Popiełuszko for a short prayer.


When the thought of a vocation first occurred to me, I can’t say exactly because the longing for prayer and a more profound relationship with God often appeared and then disappeared. But I made an attempt to take up this thought and do something about it in the summer after my first year of high school. At that time, I visited a vocation centre where I was given various folders and pictures about congregations. I discovered then that my path was definitely not a non – habitual congregation. Until I joined the Loretto Sisters, I corresponded only with the Clavierian Sisters. Hence, I think, my great desire to go on a mission to Africa, although now I am not sure that it was not the first one.

Apart from the Loretto sisters whom I met at my family’s home during major celebrations, I had no other direct contact with sisters. The decisive factor was the 4th year of secondary school and mainly the time after secondary school graduation and questions from my family and friends about what I was going to do next and why I wasn’t going to study… And, I should add, I was studying very well and I didn’t yet have a concrete sign from God that these were Loretto sisters (however, I had a great peace in my heart that it was time to join the congregation). I finally submitted my documents to the pharmacy college in Białystok and… went on a pilgrimage to Częstochowa. In the pilgrimage group was also sister Wanda who was a Loretto nun. Therefore, these 17 days on the road meant a decent retreat and the opportunity for more than one conversation with her. And then a warm hug from Mary at Jasna Góra, the experience of her love and the grace of the certainty of heart that Jesus was calling me to serve Him in this order.

I made my final decision very quickly, being in Loretto on 15 August 1999 where I felt like I was in heaven. At the interview with Mother, I asked for admission and I said that I wanted to come to the congregation as soon as possible. The date set was 26 August – the feast of Our Lady of Częstochowa.

I am very grateful for this grace of vocation and I ask every day to persevere and fulfil God’s will to the end.

Despite the hardships of religious life and my weaknesses, I am a happy Loretto sister. May God, through Mary, be glorified in my life and in the lives of those to whom He sends me. Glory to the Lord!

Sister Wioletta Aneta Ostrowska


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