In God we trust

By Sister Charlene Diorka, S.S.J. A veteran vocation director reflects on the process of finding the life choice that will allow you to be most at home with yourself.

Image: OFTEN WHEN I am walking I find pennies. I think they are constant reminders of God’s presence in our lives. They challenge me to recall in whom I place my trust: “In God we trust!”

RECENTLY I was traveling on a puddle-jumper from Seattle, Washington to Portland, Oregon. My assigned seat was between a 5-year-old boy and a young woman in her 20s. As often happens when traveling, we started a conversation. It began, however, when the little boy leaned over, winked at me, and asked my name. The twentysomething beside me commented, “I think he’s trying to pick you up!” Then she introduced herself as Kelly. It wasn’t long before she asked me what I did.

Having spent six years in vocation ministry, I cut to the chase and said, “I’m a Catholic nun!” “No way! Cool!” she said, “I never met a real nun. My mom will be so happy!” She asked how long I had been a nun and whether this trip was part of my work. She wanted to know when I got “the call” and how I knew. She asked if I were happy and if I had any regrets. Then she asked me for my business card so she could officially substantiate that she had met a real, live nun.

My experience with Kelly is neither uncommon nor unusual. Whether teaching in elementary school or high school, helping young adults with discernment as a vocation director, or ministering to other vocation directors as the associate director of the National Religious Vocation Conference, I have met people, especially young adults, who are interested and inquiring about religious life. They desire to understand the mystery of God’s call; they long to follow their own heart; and they struggle to live with meaning and significance. They want to know “how to know