Meet 24-year-old Monica Wegienka who has just entered the convent of the Franciscan Sisters TOR, of Penance of the Sorrowful Mother, located in Steubenville, Ohio. Monica is an alumna of Father Gabriel Richard High School in Ann Arbor and Michigan State University in East Lansing. While there, she also spent two years living at the Diocese of Lansing’s Emmaus House for Women’s Discernment. Here’s Monica’s story of sisterhood:
“I felt God calling me to be His bride when I was 16 years old. I was at a prayer meeting held at my high school, Father Gabriel Richard in Ann Arbor. One of the students gave a very simple talk about how the Lord fulfills our lives, and asked us to meditate on that in silence for a few minutes. I started to pray something like, ‘God, thank you for letting me know how you will fulfill my life. I know you want me to be a mom and a veterinarian and thanks for letting me know that at such a young age!’ Immediately this thought appeared in my head and I knew it wasn’t mine, but God speaking to me. The thought was “more beautiful than a bride on her wedding day”. This phrase was used by my pastor to describe a religious sister on the day of her vows, how she was radiant and glowing, more beautiful than a bride on her wedding day. I heard this and immediately knew in my heart that this was God calling me to be His bride as a religious sister. I started to cry because I did not want that. I really wanted to be a mother and a vet, and I hadn’t been exposed to the beauty of religious life! I honestly would say I didn’t really have a great relationship with God then. As I tried to navigate this call, I clung to this truth, that if God is calling me, He will grant me the desire to answer the call. After about a year of praying for this desire, I knew that actually this was the true calling of my life and that I would only be satisfied if I said yes to His invitation.”
“After high school, I studied at Michigan State, where I had the privilege of living in the Emmaus House, a women’s discernment house. It was there that the Lord continued to speak to my heart and call me to Himself. I also learned the joys (and struggles) of living in intentional community with other women. This really helped me discern my vocation, and say yes to the Lord in the easy times, but also in the more difficult moments of my time at State and after graduation.”
“In my freshman year of college, the Lord led me to visit the Franciscan Sisters TOR, of Penance of the Sorrowful Mother, located in Steubenville, Ohio. I fell in love with their way of life, their charisms, and the way they lived out their Franciscan spirituality. After many visits and much prayer, I applied and got accepted to the Franciscan Sisters TOR! I will be entering in August of 2021. I am so grateful to the Lord for his merciful and steadfast love, and am so eager to take this next step!”
* Do you feel that God may be calling you to Consecrated Life? Contact Dawn Hausmann, Director of Consecrated Vocations for the Diocese of Lansing, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-342-2506.