(Photo Above: Sister Faith Marie Woolsey FSE pictured with her father and mother, Mike and Ellen Woolsey, and Sister Suzanne Gross FSE, Administrator, Franciscan Home Care and Hospice Care, Meriden, Connecticut.)
Meet Sister Faith Marie Woolsey of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist. 34-year-old Sister Faith Marie hails from the parish of Saint John the Evangelist in Jackson. Here is her story of sisterhood:
“I met the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist my Sophomore Year at Grand Valley State University where I earned my doctorate in physical therapy. Two of the Sisters were professors there. The first time I went to volunteer on their 230 acres farm, I saw a Sister on a John Deere tractor and I was hooked. For the next five years I was a regular visitor, volunteering, attending retreats and liturgies. I walked away from each encounter in awe of these amazing, vibrant, joyful, hard working women and with a renewed sense of my own dignity and how much God loves me. Although I was convinced that God wanted me to be a wife and mother, I was drawn to the Sisters and knew I wanted to relate to them for the rest of my life.”
“In 2010, I was invited to a discernment retreat at the Motherhouse in Connecticut. I was discouraged that I was in graduate school and still did not have a clear direction for my life. I went to the retreat in desperation. It still amazes me that as soon as I gave up, God took over. I was at the retreat for three hours when it felt like lightning struck. All of a sudden, I realized that the things I was passionate about were what the Sisters dedicate their lives to. It was so clear to me at that moment that this was what God intended for me. My life had just taken a 180 degree turn. It was exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. I had spent my entire life telling God what I wanted, and never once did I ask what He wanted. At the end of the retreat our Mother Foundress, Mother Rosemae Pender, said, ‘Discovering your vocation is like falling in love’. I knew at that moment I was already very much in love.”
“I entered the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist in August of 2010 and cannot begin to describe how God has blessed me over the last 10 years. Through the love and guidance of the Sisters I have grown in ways that I never thought possible. Now I know God had a greater plan for my life than I had for myself. I have never felt more fulfilled and life-giving.”
* 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.