Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Summer vocations

Seems like everyone at St. Peter Chanel (Hawaiian Gardens, Los Angeles County, California) is going off this summer to become a priest or a nun.  When I realized how many there were I decided to list them all, along with a few others I know who entered religious life in previous years.

There's Teresa, who's joining the Nashville Dominicans straight out of high school and is the youngest in a postulant class of...(drumroll please)... 27!  I hear they're excited that they have the previous class beat.  I'm glad I got to know Teresa a little bit before she left.  Also in the new class is Courtney, whom I met when we were on the same visit to the motherhouse more than a year ago.

There's Teresa's older brother Paul, who's joining the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, the same order that staffs our parish.  I remember seeing him nearly four years ago when I first joined St. Peter Chanel.  He was leader of the altar boys and I thought it'd be pretty cool if he became an OMV, but of course you shouldn't assume that someone has the call you think would be cool... Anyway, he left for Boston on Sunday. :)

There's my own former roommate Mery who entered Corpus Christi Monastery in June 2009 and became a novice a few months ago and is now Sister Mary Isabel of the Angels-- WOOOOOHOOOOOO!  Not least because the confusing spelling of "Mery" is finally amended. :)  She's learning piano and singing and organizing the monastery's vast library and doing lots of other stuff-- harvesting fruit, painting, swimming, partying on every birthday and feast day... seriously, the Dominican nuns have too much fun back there in their beautiful 1920's Gothic cloister, but their main work is praying.  Here's a story about someone who's about to join their monastery as a postulant.

Just before Mery entered, a big group of us from St. Peter Chanel were all heading home from a wonderful trip up north to St. Stephen's in Sacramento, where Fr. John, formerly of our parish, was celebrating the 25th year of his priesthood.  I posted pictures from the trip here-- check out the prescient comments.

There's Nathan, who's leaving this Friday for the Norbertines.  Along with the OMVs they're the order I'm fondest of in my area-- may the Lord bless them for providing the traditional Latin Mass all over Southern California, and even into Northern California when someone needs a substitute. Nathan majored in music at Ave Maria, and gave a wonderful voice recital a few weeks ago to raise money to pay off his student debt so he could enter the Norbertines this year.  It succeeded and all was paid in time, hooray!

There's Joe, whom I first met on the internet before I realized he lived not far away and we became real-life friends.  I'll miss seeing him serve the TLM now and then at St. Therese.  He's introduced me to his new order, the Mercedarians, who say both the old Mass and the new with reverence-- I know Joe wouldn't settle anything less.  I can't neglect to mention his fifteen minutes of fame playing the bad altar server in this video.  :)

There's Quan, who used to go to my parish but started seminary shortly before I joined.  I met him on a St. Peter Chanel pilgrimage to Mexico.  A month or so ago he was ordained a deacon for the Diocese of Orange, and I'm so happy I got to see it.  I believe he'll be ordained a priest next year, but even after that he'll still have more studying to do at the Angelicum.  I'm not jealous of his adventures in Rome, really.

And there's also Marta, whom I met last February and then again in March-- we were hitting the same convents as we both discerned our vocations.  She'd stepped away from a relationship to try to discern faithfully what God really wanted her to do with her life, and the Lord made it clear to her that she was supposed to... marry the guy!  So she very happily did, just a few weeks ago.  It's so wonderful.  There's a joy and peace that comes from doing God's will. See how neatly I segue back to religious vocations? ;)

I've only listed people I know personally; I bet there are others I haven't heard of at St. Peter Chanel, since it's a big parish.  WOW, so many who have entered religious life or are doing so this summer.  It's the trend. All the kids are doing it. But just because my friends jump off a cliff, should I?

Oh, why not.  So I'm leaving to join the Adorers on October 22. :) :) :)  Please pray for me!


Vincenzo said...

"Please pray for me!"

I will.

Ashley R. said...

Holy Cow... i didn't know you were entering so soon... granted, i knew you were looking.. but praise the Lord... i will definetl add you to my growing list of those i am praying for that are entering/ have entered religious life...

Please pray for me as i continue to discern with the nashville dominican and pay off my monsterous educational debt...

Praise God!!


belinda said...

Our church is so blessed to have such wonderful people.

Susan Thompson said...

Congratulations! And you have an amazing parish!

Rachel Gray said...

Thanks, everyone!

Ashley, it's contingent on my visa coming through, so please pray it will-- and I'll pray for you. :) About the student debt, there's and , though I think they might only work with people who are certain about which order they're joining and have an acceptance letter. Maybe in the future they might help you...

Anonymous said...

I've been reading you for a few month now and I am thilled with your (actually God's) decision! That's the one I would have chosen and maybe my oldest daughter will join you in a few years (right now she is looking at the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist--she is only 14).

I will pray for you!
Suzanne from Oklahoma

Rachel Gray said...

Thank you Suzanne! I'll pray for your daughter too. You might be interested in this interview with a Harvard grad who's joining the Dominicans in Ann Arbor:

Anonymous said...

I actually posted the info. about the Harvard Validictorian on my facebook page a couple of days ago!

Ashley R. said...

Rachel... as of today i am in the application process...i plan to apply to fundsforvocations once i get acceptance... so all in the Lords hands... as if your vocation... i will pray for you visa... This is with the order stationed over in Italy right, but are started to start up a convent in the US right?

God Bless,

JimAroo said...

Hey don't forget the old timers from SPC!

I could mention Sister Marie-Aimee, OCD (Carmelite Sisters of the Sacred Heart) and Sister Agnes Regina, PC (Roswell Poor Clares) both of whom entered the convent after attending St. Peter Chanel, but modesty forbids me.

Rachel Gray said...

Hi Ashley-- yes, they're in Italy and plan to start something in America too. That's exciting that you're applying! I wonder how many girls will be in next year's postulant class? :)

Jim, I bet there are many old timers... Fr. Fernando Cuenca went to SPC as a layman, at least for spiritual direction. I wish I had met the two you mention. :)

JimAroo said...

I wish you had met them too....every young woman who was a close friend of my daughter entered religious life. You and she would have been great friends.

Laetitia Crucis said...

I am SO happy for you, Rachel!! I had wondered if you were furthering your discernment with them after your super-long and awesomely-picture-packed entry a while back. ;-)

Congratulations on your acceptance and future entrance! October 22nd!!! I'll be praying for your Visa and for your preparation for entrance!!!


P.S. -- I will be envious of your investiture day when you get to wear a lovely wedding dress and exchange it for your Real wedding dress (habit). <3

Rachel Gray said...

Jim, I bet we would have been. :) Since my friend Mery went to the convent before I did, in our little group they're calling me "second to nun".

Thanks Laetitia! I'm especially glad for your prayers. :) Doesn't your Dominican order do the wedding dress thing? I'll pray for you too-- your blog reminds me a lot of me. Why on earth are we both making it hard on ourselves by going overseas? ;)