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Wednesday 12 May |
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“It started as a quiet whisper in my heart”: Young people explain why they want to become priests and nuns

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 08/28/16

The Daily Telegraph in Australia profiles several young people who explain why they are giving their lives to God. It’s a terrific read:

Amy McCabe was just 12 when she wrote to the sisterhood asking if she could join. Five years later she tried again. While the sisters at the Missionaries of God’s Love welcomed her interest, they encouraged her to get a job and travel before deciding if it really was the life for her.
McCabe worked as a nanny, studied art and threw on a backpack – but her desire never wavered: “It started as a quiet whisper in my heart and the more I came to listen to the voice of God, the whisper grew louder.” Now 19, McCabe’s life as a novice couldn’t be more different from most teens. She doesn’t have a smartphone and there is no TV or microwave in the convent where she lives in Canberra. Indeed, so “radical” are the poverty orders adopted by the Missionaries of God’s Love that the sisters don’t carry money and instead rely on donated food, clothes and cars to carry out their work. For McCabe, who prays for four hours a day and eats plainly during the week, a treat is a bowl of homemade custard on Saturday night. But far from seeing her life as one of sacrifice, she embraces values that would be anathema to more typical teens, for whom sisterhood means the Kardashians. “It’s a beautiful thing to rely on God’s generosity and I enjoy a life that’s uncomplicated,” she says. “Social media, parties, money – the things I’m giving up are the things people [wrongly] seek to be fulfilled by.” In an era of unprecedented opportunity for young women, it’s surprising that anyone would sign up to the Catholic Church’s strictures of poverty, chastity and obedience. But she’s enthusiastic, if considered, as she speaks of a way of life that’s enjoying signs of revival. McCabe, like all those interviewed for this story, exudes a quiet confidence when explaining the appeal of God at a time when the church has been deeply shaken and the secular world shines more brightly and alluringly than ever. Priest or sister, teen, 20- or 30-something, they’re testament to lives of contemplation and care – even if their beliefs aren’t for everyone.

There’s much more. Continue reading.

Photo: Kym Smith/Daily Telegraph

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