Meet Sister Amaris Salata of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist. 30-year-old Sister Amaris hails from the parish of Christ the King in Ann Arbor. Here is her story of sisterhood:
“I did not know what I was missing. “What’s next?” re-surfaced over and over. Through a friend, I learned of a pilgrimage to Italy and it seemed too good to pass up! I completed the registration by messaging some guy in Connecticut on Facebook and started sending money to someone of whom I had never heard. Professionally, I was a CPA, a financial statement auditor. “Professional skepticism” was our motto and, in an instant, it was out the window. It could only have been the promptings of the Spirit and God’s timing.
We convened in Meriden, Connecticut, the day before leaving for Rome. It was my first encounter with the Sisters and immediately I was taken by the joy, peace, and love they exuded. The Mother General exhorted the pilgrims to “Have open hearts, embrace the graces, and be changed.” Simple words but profoundly powerful. “Yes, Lord, I want to do your will – as long as it jives with my will.” It was time to let that go and pray for more authentic openness to know and do his will. And so I prayed.
The spark of attraction I first experienced when encountering the Community did not leave me – it was the seed of my call. I stayed in contact with the Motherhouse Community and the Center in Lowell, Michigan. Communication with the Community gave me the courage to continue my discernment process. I returned to Meriden for the Profession of Perpetual Vows of the Sisters who journeyed with us on pilgrimage. That was truly beautiful, lives fully given to Christ and His Church, without fear or reservation. After the ceremony, I thought to myself “Why am I leaving this place?” I had the sense I was leaving my heart in the Chapel and that I belonged there, with God, with this particular Community. Beneath any doubts was an unshakeable clarity I had never known.
God calls each day; He calls me to draw closer to Him through my Sisters and the people I serve in Chastity, Poverty, and Obedience. This life is a treasure of the Church, one worth giving everything. “What’s next?” continues to come up, except now “the next” is held by my Community and centered in Christ bearing the promise of peace and fruitfulness.”