Franciscan Sister’s Vocation Began with a Pastor’s Prayer

Paul Keggington

December 16, 2012

Originally from Little Chute, WI, Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Estelle Vanden Heuval reflects on her call to be a  consecrated religious and the significance of her pastor’s prayer.

As Father John Sprangers, the pastor at St. John Nepomucene Church in Little Chute, baptized the 6th and last child in our family, he turned to my dad and said, “John, you have five daughters. I am going to pray that one of them becomes a nun.” His prayer was answered in God’s generous way. Not one, but two daughters entered religious life.

As I reflect on my vocation, I am amazed at the many persons and circumstances God chose as instruments in His plan for my life.

In my early years, even though as yet there was no thought or desire on my part for religious life, Father Sprangers’ prayers were ascending to heaven on my behalf. My saintly parents nurtured the Catholic faith in their children through their example and family prayer. Our family life was centered in our parish with its daily Masses, devotions, processions and the large Catholic Grade School and High School taught by the Racine Dominican Sisters.

It was during my high school years that I signed up to be a co-missionary and was assigned Father Lovasik, SVD, as my missionary priest. Although the little packet of prayers and information on his life that I received was too soon forgotten, God would some day use him as an instrument in attracting me to religious life. Click here to read more.


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