Captured by the Heart

Posted by Patrice Tuohy
Friday 18, September 2009 | Category:   Vocation and Discernment,Consecrated Life

Sr. Jan Lane's reflection on her vocation as an Adorer of the Blood of Christ

In October, 17 years ago, five United States Adorers of the Blood of Christ were murdered in Liberia, West Africa by
Sr. Jan Lane, ASC
                 Sr. Jan Lane, ASC                
soldiers under the command of Charles Taylor, who subsequently became the country's president and proceeded to pillage the nation's people and resources, eventually fleeing only to stand trial in The Hague for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Hearing the story of these five brave Martyrs of Charity prompted the vocation of Sister Jan Lane, now the Adorers' U.S. Region Vocation Director. This anniversary of the Martyrs prompted Sister Jan to recall her own call to religious life.

When I was 35, anyone looking at my life would have thought I was perfectly content with the direction my life was taking. I had earned a B.A. in Parks & Recreation Administration and completed 10 years of successful employment serving as Program Director of a large recreation facility in my hometown. I loved working with people of all ages and social-economic backgrounds in designing programs to meet their need for organized social and recreational activity. On my free time I enjoyed training and competing in various 10k runs, biathlons and triathlons, just to stay in shape. I was a home owner, loved my cat, and found pleasure in picking out my own new vehicles and recreational gear. I enjoyed a great circle of supportive friends, which included dating and even thoughts of marriage from time to time. Who would have thought that a call to Religious Life would enter the picture of my very active life? I didn't! At least, not until I started to pay closer attention to my prayer life and a deeper desire to search for God.

Part of my search included drawing closer to my parish community by getting involved with prayer groups, sponsoring RCIA candidates and teaching PSR classes. Another part of my search included attending retreats and "Come and See" weekends, which connected me with women religious. One particular retreat captured my heart and significantly changed the direction of my life forever. I met an Adorer of the Blood who had lived and served in Liberia, Africa for 17 years. She shared her personal experience as a missionary and the story about the five Adorers who had been martyred in 1992. I was struck by the radical witness of the Adorers in living fully their spirituality which is rooted in adoration of the Precious Blood of Christ. They seemed impelled to share their lives, talents and resources for the purpose of building up a community of people who had less then they had.  After that retreat, I knew I wanted to learn more about the Adorers and their mission to "bring about that beautiful order of things that the Son of God came to establish in His blood." For the first time in my life, I felt within me a desire to explore the possibility of a vocation to Religious Life.

Today I am a professed Sister with the Adorers of the Blood of Christ and I still love the opportunity of working with people from all walks of life. I have had a variety of ministry experiences including working with inner city after-school programs, hospital and hospice chaplaincy, pastoral training programs for laity, and vocation outreach for the Adorers. Even as a Sister, exercise remains important to me and I have a steady routine of early morning runs and evening swims at the YMCA. I still consider myself a seeker, one who searches for God in my daily encounters and activities. Prayer remains central to my spiritual growth. The difference now is I live in a supportive community of faith-filled women who share a common mission. Together, we draw from a rich spiritual heritage that gives depth and meaning to life both personally and communally.  Becoming an Adorer of the Blood of Christ has opened my life to a greater sense of purpose and direction, something that was that was missing at the age of 35. For those feeling the nudge to consider Religious Life as a vocation my advice is: "Go for it! Your life may change forever."

For more information about the Adorers of the Blood of Christ and the ASC presence in Liberia is available at www.adorers.org or contact S. Jan Lane, Vocation Director for the U.S. Region at lanej@adorers.org or 1-877-236-7377 ext. 1455


Reprinted with permission from PrepareTheWord.com. ©TrueQuest Communications.

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