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Vocation Stories

Barbara's Story
Barbara's StoryI was probably 16 when I first thought that I might have a vocation. I certainly asked the question ’how do you know if you have one?’ I think though that I can see more clearly how God and Jesus became more personal to me in my life than actually thinking that I had a vocation. When I was 7 I went to a Catholic school for the first time, and heard about Jesus and was prepared for my First Communion. I was fascinated by Jesus. 

The day I made my first communion I remember walking home from church with my family and being overwhelmed by a sense of joy and presence. Looking back now, I recognise an experience of God which has become familiar in my life. I prayed regularly to God, and I remember asking especially for something. I went into church every afternoon after school to ask for this. When things happened as I wanted, I remember thinking, I don’t need to go into church on the way home to pray today, and then I thought ‘but maybe God likes me going in just for nothing’ I was about 10 at the time. And so I continued to visit the church to pray, and without realising it I suppose my friendship with God got deeper and God’s hold on my life became stronger!

I went on to secondary school with Dominicans and retreats became an annual event and benediction and mass and spiritual reading, and time for prayer. I discovered Thomas Aquinas on God and the Trinity and would spend a lot of time on top of the steps in the library fascinated by his Summa Theologica I was about 17 at the time. It all sounds very holy but in fact I was quite a rebel in school, if rules were there they were there to be broken by our gang!

About this time we went on a trip with our extended family to Chester to visit a distant relative, an Ursuline missionary home on leave from Guyana. It was a lovely summer afternoon and somebody was playing Fur Elise on the piano, all the details are so clear. We were in the garden of the convent and I suddenly felt Jesus so near and I knew that I was loved and that I loved Him, All the way home in the train I was aware of his closeness.

I left school and by accident I went to the Sacred Heart training College in Fenham, Newcastle on Tyne. The spirituality of the Sacred Heart was unavoidable, we has daily mass, benedictions, feast days and without realising what was happening, I felt at home. The spirituality of the Sacred Heart and my relationship with Jesus sort of matched up and I knew that that was where I wanted to be and I thought that it was where God wanted me to be.

Since I was 10 it has been difficult to say no to God and that is the story of the beginning of my vocation.

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  • Barbara's Story

Vocation Stories