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Below are some short versions of various Apostolic Oblate’s vocation stories. These are offered as encouragement for those interested in pursuing a consecrated vocation or anyone who is simply interested in learning how others were led to be Oblates. These are stories from women around the world who felt the Lord calling them to a common charism:
“With how I was raised I have had a desire for the good of others on some level for years. But ever since my reversion back to the Church in college I have had a desire to help other people know how deeply they are loved and wanted by God since that has helped me flourish. After working for 5 years in a broken public school system filled with a lot of suffering and some of the most incredible people, I only had a deeper desire to teach others about the goodness of the Lord. Since committing to a regular habit of 30+ minutes of contemplative prayer each day in the fall of 2015 I have experienced the Lord’s peace, love, and freedom in real tangible ways. In February 2018 I experienced the Lord’s invitation to be exclusively His while praying in adoration at our retreat center. Throughout my formation I encountered my weaknesses and limits and got to see God at work moving beyond those. I’ve never experienced as much joy as I did on the evening of May 6th, 2022 when I had the privilege of taking my first vows as an External Apostolic Oblate.
“I discovered my call through Jesus asking me to be his spouse, and my heart was convinced that’s what I wanted. He was patient and gentle with me, so even though it took me a few years to follow the call, eventually I was able to share my fears and hesitations with Him in adoration and let him take care of me instead of trying to do it myself. I had grown up around the Apostolic Oblates, and always felt attracted to that vocation. I discovered that Jesus made my heart to love in this particular way: to live a life of intimacy with him in which my whole life could be co-redemptive for our spiritual children.”
“As a little child in a Catholic family in India, I had much love for Jesus, but as I grew older, I began to lose faith. After high school I didn’t care for religion at all but still prayed because it was expected; when my brother experienced miraculous healing after being prayed for, I began to believe once more. A friend invited me to the profession of vows of some Apostolic Oblates, and when I witnessed them, I felt like I belonged. I wanted to go to a vocations camp they were hosting, but I had difficulty convincing my father and brothers to give me permission. I decided to give up, but when I was praying, I was moved to pick up a bible and I randomly flipped to Romans 8:31 which says, ‘if God is for us, who can be against us?’ and I was encouraged. Finally, my family gave me permission and I went to the camp. I was not taken seriously at first, but the Lord sent encouragement. I kept going back, and my family eventually loved the Apostolic Oblates. I really enjoy my vocation, and I never look back on what could have been.”
“I remember the August of my fifteenth birthday stopping to say the Angelus as the noontime bells rang, looking up the mountain to the Marian Shrine of Svete Visarje, and repeating those simple words, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me according to Your word.” It was my first conscious “Yes” to a call that became definite in that simple moment. I grew up in post WWII Slovenia, exposed to people who were in love with Jesus, Mary, and the Church and endured persecution, lost their homes and jobs, were imprisoned for years and exposed to hard labor, starvation, and beating… yet they would continue to live and witness their faith in peace and joy. Escaping to Rome brought excitement but also loneliness and sadness; I began to go to daily Mass. I was exposed to different forms of consecrated life; I was very much attracted to Trappist Monastery, a more contemplative, quiet life, but on the other side I also felt a need to be actively involved in bringing Jesus to other people. When I discovered the Charism of the Apostolic Oblates, the call to redemptive love, and God’s desire that we all are called to holiness, I knew that was my call.”
“I had a great love for the Lord since I was young, and it grew as I grew up. I wanted to be a missionary, but my family did not want me to leave. One day, June 13th in 1955, I pretended I was going to work, but I was really leaving. I went from Sicily to Catania, where I found a friend of mine, and together we went to Rome and met Bishop Giaquinta and the Apostolic Oblates. Their prayer life, especially their love for the Eucharist, Mary, the Church, the Pope, the priests, and all people; their apostolic zeal in preparing means and tools to help people of various ages grow in love for the Lord; their joy in living in the world and striving to be Jesus’ icons; their eagerness to read the signs of the time and to search in prayer where the Lord was leading, all touched me deeply. I had a profound love for the Lord and for Mary. A statue of Mary in Syracuse miraculously shed tears for five days in 1953, and I had promised the Lord to give my life to Him and to console Mary by helping people live holy lives. I had to overcome many difficulties and resistances, but the Lord helped me greatly. Filled with joy, I became an Apostolic Oblate. I prayed and still pray, I labored and still labor for a world of ALL SAINTS, ALL BROTHERS AND SISTERS.”