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After 70 years, Sister Marcelle shares her story with young people.


Students learn about religious life first-hand from brothers, sisters and friars during 28th Annual Mass for Vocations

Catherine Buckler, Catholic Standard

Depending on the order, it can take someone in religious life six years to a decade to take their final vows. Although every person who finds their calling to take the cloth has a different story about what led them to it, they all have the same goal: to dedicate their lives to God and to serve the Catholic Church.

The 28th Annual Mass for Vocations took place at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., on March 21.

Students from more than 23 elementary schools in The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington and homeschool families gathered for the Mass to learn about the different religious orders and what religious life is like from seminarians, priests, and religious brothers and sisters.

Father Mark Ivany, the archdiocese’s director of priest vocations, was the principal celebrant at the Mass and told attendees this was the event’s greatest turnout….

Sister Marcelle has been with the Little Sisters of the Poor for 70 years. She said she first fell in love with Jesus during her First Communion, but it was not until she was around 13 years old that she received “Our Lord’s gentle invitation” while alone in a chapel one day.

“Come and visit us. Come and get to know our elderly people and take time for prayer and take time for Scripture reading. See, these are foundational and God can help you discern, can help young people discern their vocation. They might not know right away, but as time goes on, and I think when his people say, look for a vocation of marriage or religious life, you need a little bit of maturity. But the years before that are preparation for that eventual decision,” Sister Marcelle said.

She encourages everyone to consider married or single life as much as they consider a religious vocation.

“These are all beautiful vocations, and you don’t just know right away,” Sister Marcelle said. “Certainly (a vocation) shouldn’t be a rejection of something. We shouldn’t become a sister because we reject married life.”

Sister Marcelle joined the Little Sisters of the Poor when she was 17….

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