PERSONAL VOCATION STORIES
Before joining the Salesian Sisters, Sr. Kim was the Chief Leader of the Salesian Youth Club at St. Margaret Mary's, North Brunswick, VIC. After making her First Profession in December 2016, and in one of her visits to Melbourne, she was invited by Fr. Anthony Q Nguyen, sdb, parish priest of St. Margaret Mary's, to come and give a talk during the homily. Part of her speech was specifically directed to the young people present in the congregation. She said:
To the young people here in this church:
Long journeys begin with a small step. Indeed, to take a small step requires the inner strength, and the courage and the spirit to explore the unknown adventure. To choose a journey for your own life is not so easy. I have moved out of my ‘known’ to the ‘unknown’ and it can be a struggle for the fear of the loss and the comfort. However, God only asks you to respond to his call with generous open hearts. God wants you to become a fully alive person, to live the joyous life that God has called you to live. Be courageous and not paralysed by fear, but start innovating and illuminating the future. (Evangelli Gaudium)
God calls everyone not according to our expectations but in His own way. When I reflect on my vocation, somehow I think it’s my destiny to become a sister. The feeling is a bit scattered over the moon. However, I think that everything that happens in my life is all in God’s plan for me, and I know that God chose me since He knows me better than I know myself. In my life, I always have doubts and wonder, is it true that God calls me? Did God set me aside and appoint me to do something for Him? I am experiencing the limitation of my capacity. Who am I to proclaim the words of God? I am nothing better than anyone. I am just an ordinary girl! Nonetheless, I have to put my trust in God and God knows what He doing. I only have one life to live and I want to live it to the fullest. I will not be afraid, God is with me always. Dear young people, let us not be afraid to have great dreams.”
With St. Teresa of Avila I pray for all of you;
“Let nothing disturb you;
let nothing make you afraid
all things pass;
but God is unchanged.
is enough for everything
if you who have God
you lack nothing.
God alone is sufficient”.
Sr. Kim PT Nguyen
Sr. Faye shared her vocational journey in the reflection below before making her first profession in 2006. She is now a finally professed Sister.
My name is Faye Aboghazaleh from Yowie Bay, NSW. Throughout the last two years I have been discerning religious life and especially the life of the FMA. Last year I started my first year as a pre-novice with the community at St. Marys in Sydney. Joining the community was a real eye opener for me in regard to the work that the Sisters and the Salesians do working in the Don Bosco Youth Centre
It took me a few weeks to start to interact with the young people who use the Don Bosco Youth Centre. At first it took some courage and then it was quite easy at times. Yet there were times when it was not so. I began to understand what the word ‘presence’ means in the Salesian tradition. It meant ‘being with’ the young no matter what. I enjoyed my experience at St. Marys talking playing and being a friend to young people.
Throughout last year I not only formed new relationships with the young people but in doing so I journeyed with the Salesian Sisters living at St. Marys. It was a time of interacting as a young adult with other like-minded women who were passionate about God, the young and each other. We prayed together, worked in a team relationship at work in the youth centre, sharing meals together, laughing and joking and also sharing the concerns about the actual difficulties facing young people today. I followed a discernment program prepared by the Sisters which enabled me to explore further God’s call for me.
I also deepened my relationship with God and the Blessed Mother Mary. I put my trust in God that God would guide me throughout the year to see if I was on the right path or not. How was this done? For me it was done through both personal and community prayer.
My family and friends have been a very strong part of my journey thus far. I continue to be very close to them and they to me. Yet if family or friends told me ten years ago that this is what I would be doing in 2002, living with the Salesian Sisters in St. Marys, NSW, I would have laughed at them. But for me it took a trip to the Holy Land in 1999 to realise what God wants from me. The first time I went to Jerusalem I felt right at home there. It was a very prayerful time for me.
In March 2003 I moved from St. Marys, NSW, to Clayton, Victoria, and I am still journeying with the Salesian Sisters as a pre-novice. I am continuing my interaction among the young with the Salesian Sisters, am engaged in academic studies in youth counselling, and continue to follow a program of discernment.
I can summarise all of the above with an image that speaks to me at the moment. It is that of ‘the seed’ which allows for growth, newness, exploration and discovery. "Seeds are small yet they hold potential. Planting seeds is the start of something, whatever is sown is eventually reaped."
So the seed has been planted and it is reaping slowly but surely.
Melbourne September 2006