Read: My Story of Sisterhood: Sister Marie Bernadette OP


Read: My Story of Sisterhood: Sister Marie Bernadette OP

If you encountered something truly inspiring today …. then make sure you take a moment to read this beautiful story by Sister Marie Bernadette OP as she charts her life story from growing up in tiny farming village in south-east Michigan to becoming a fully-professed Dominican Sister of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, three years ago. Enjoy:  

“Born and raised in the tiny farming village of Maybee, Michigan, I am the middle child of seven siblings. My parents raised us Catholic, and my memories of my childhood are punctuated with the presence of the Faith: prayer as a family (not quite a family rosary…but we were able to make it through a decade each night!), attending Mass (at St. Joe’s in Maybee, and later at St. Michael’s in Monroe), and weaving our daily homeschool life into the liturgical life of the Church. Growing up, the celebration of feast days and parish events were just as commonplace as family gatherings, softball games, and 4-H events.”

“I never thought about a religious vocation until I got closer to middle school. The dreaded question, “so…what do you want to be when you grow up?” usually left me awkwardly without satisfactory answers. But my parents, my mom especially, always turned that question around: “what does God want you to do with your life?”  I finally took that question to heart, and started praying to know my vocation. I don’t think my sixth grade self really expected an answer, especially the answer I got: religious life? Was God crazy? Was I crazy?? True, I had donned various religious habits often enough for All Saints Day costumes, but did anyone actually do that sort of thing anymore? I was pretty doubtful.”

“And so began several years of various attempts to try to convince God otherwise, beginning with a growing resistance towards the sacraments and prayer, a fear of silence, or often retreating behind a busy-ness of schoolwork, social life, and volunteer work. It was as if I kept trying to convince God: see – isn’t this good enough? But I was left dreadfully unsatisfied. My sneaking suspicion, if I allowed myself to admit it, was that God didn’t desire more and more of my time, my volunteer hours, or activities… He was desiring me. Like it or not, I was coming to realize that my restlessness would only be satisfied in a total, unreserved gift of myself.”

“Things came to a head the summer I turned sixteen, when I attended a youth conference at Franciscan University of Steubenville. One gift of grace was when I was able to approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation with more openness than in years. I had convinced myself that my sins were greater than the mercy of God – which was a convenient excuse against becoming a religious – praise God for His patience in drawing me back to Himself! That same retreat held another grace-filled moment, when, during Eucharistic Adoration, I came to the profound realization that God. Loved. Me. God loved me?” “Those words that I had heard so often growing up suddenly hit me with full force while kneeling before the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. The reality of His great love, there in the light of the monstrance, put everything into clear focus: my life was not about what I was to do; I existed because I was loved by this tremendous Lover, and my vocation was meant to be a whole-hearted response to His love!”

“But, how was I supposed to do that? The thought of religious life had persisted, despite my efforts to shuffle it to the back burner. But wait – religious still didn’t exist, right? Being a child of the twenty-first century, I set things straight with a quick Google search: typing “nuns” into the search bar left me thoroughly overwhelmed by the number of communities of religious! How was I supposed to choose one? Providentially, it was at this time in my discernment that a letter from my community showed up on our kitchen table. On the front of the envelope were photos of joyful, white-clad Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist! Even the name of our community couldn’t be better! This first introduction to our newly-formed community captured me immediately: in the letter, Mother Assumpta described a total self-gift to Jesus through Mary in the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. This, I realized, was the total gift of love that I could give in return to the love I had found in my Eucharistic Lord! After my graduation from high school, I was received into the community as a postulant, and on August 2nd, 2013, I had the great joy of first professing my three-fold yes to Christ. In 2019, I professed my final vows – “for all my life,” with all of my life, I can continue to strive to give all of my love to Him, who has loved me so much! Deo gratias!”

• Do you feel God may also be calling you to religious life? Contact Dawn Hausmann, Director of Consecrated Vocations at the Diocese of Lansing on 517-342-2506 or

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