About 39 days ago I exchanged the very blue, and somewhat ambiguous Sister of Life postulant outfit, for the flowing folds of the holy habit and became one of eleven proud new novices. Needless to say, after walking the streets of Sydney, Australia for a week, there isn't a flicker of ambiguity about what I am about, and the powerful witness of the habit.
"You are the first Sister in habit I have seen in twenty-three years!" said one woman.
"Look mum, an angel." said one awe-struck five year old on the train.
"I just LOVE your robes...vestments...why your'e so young! Tell me, what ARE you?" exclaimed another Aussie.
The stares are unabashed, and the cellphones and cameras are snapping pictures at furious rates. At times you feel like a bit of a tourist attraction as a five minute walk in the city guarantees a strangers request for a picture with you. If this wasn't enough, (and I give my word this is a true account) I sat in transit on the bus sure that the stylish, blonde-haired, twenty-something, deep into the tunes of her i-pod would remain indifferent to me, her habited peer sitting a seat away. Low and behold, within five minutes she had removed her head gear and was inquiring about mine. With cordial curiosity and openess she asked question after question. I was the very first Sister she had ever seen. She grew more and more in awe as I accounted the essence of religious life, and described the great joy and freedom that embracing Christ's call to love Him with an undivided heart has brought my life, when I just a year ago, like her, was a bright-eyed young twenty-something with the world at my feet. Both equally delighted with the encounter, she bid me 'goodday,' with a smile and the Love and Life Site palm card in hand, hopeful to join us for the festivities and learn more.
No doubt the Holy Spirit is on the move and the Sisters of Life are being called in God's shuffles of witness and Providence. What a grace, what a privilege, to wear the holy habit and serve as public witnesses to Christ.
Sr. Mariae Agnus Dei (SV novice)