Sister Sandra Lincoln, S.H.C.J.

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Thursday 23, August 2007 | Category:   Consecrated Life

About me: My desire to respond to God through religious life came when I was a sophomore at Smith College. A certainty about God’s invitation to me started in prayer and reading of Saint John of the Cross. As time went on, only the “way” of entering religious life seemed to envelop me in peace. As college graduation and my 21st birthday drew near, I made an effort to ignore my desire to enter religious life and considered other alternatives such as graduate school.

These other alternatives, however, could never compete with the peace that entering religious life seemed to bring me. I did not know any sisters; so entering a religious order seemed terrifying, a bit like jumping into a dark well. On a college retreat during my senior year, I met a Cenacle sister who suggested that I consider the S.H.C.J. She spoke to me about Cornelia Connelly, the foundress of the society, and how Cornelia wanted her sisters to love the children they taught. As she spoke, a great certainty came over me, a feeling that this was the religious community for me.

I wrote a very vague letter to the provincial of the society and in turn, I was invited to take the entrance tests. I wrote to say that I would take the tests and enter in September. I had no idea I needed to be “accepted.” I met the Holy Child Sisters for the first time when I took the psychological entrance tests, and I loved them!

My vision: The society has encouraged me to develop all of my abilities, even those I did not know I had! I have even been able to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry. As a member of the society, I have taught high school as well as college students. Teaching has given me the ability to impact the lives of students and in turn, I have been changed by my experiences with them. I enjoy watching students come alive as they learn new concepts and ways of thinking.

Over the years, the society, the church, and our world have changed significantly. But my certainty about belonging in the society has never been in doubt. When I was a novice, I remember thinking how amazing it was that God called me to a relationship with him and how astounding each religious vocation was. Even though we are now seeing smaller numbers of religious vocations, I am not discouraged–each one still seems like a small miracle to me!

I belong to: The Society of the Holy Child Jesus.

This article adapted with kind permission from the vocations website page of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus.

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