Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Postulant Michelle Ozuna introduces herself to our Sisters and to you.
I would like to thank the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Community for being so welcoming. I am eager to visit with you all as my discernment journey permits. It is amazing to be back at the motherhouse, no longer as a visitor but as a postulant. I have been preparing for this transition for 6 months now. I still remember the day I received the call of my acceptance into the postulancy from Sister Julie Ann. It was Tuesday, February 15th during the lunch hour: I was seated with my friend and coworkers Maria, Christina, and my godmother, Josephine. In a sense, I had the whole holy family with me.
Just a couple of days earlier Deacon Rey gave the homily at Mass in celebration of St. Valentine. I had my eyes closed while listening to the gospel and at the start of deacon’s homily I heard the words “My Valentine”. I immediately opened my eyes to have them fixated on the crucifix. It was a welcome ministry weekend so I had a booth set up before and after Mass and would usually be one of the last to leave the church. I had registered a new parishioner before Mass named Mary Teresa (Teri). I saw her visiting with Fr. Johnson after Mass. I walked over to say goodbye and we all started chatting.
Teri was widowed 30 years ago after her husband, a deacon for 30 years, passed away. She asked Father Johnson for a blessing. I moved a little as to not interfere with her blessing and she pulled me closer wrapping her arms around me and said: “No, it is for both of us!” Father began to give the blessing explaining that Teri’s valentine was in heaven and then looked over at me and said: “And you, your Valentine is Christ.” I did not know it then but Teri would end up being like an adopted grandma over the next six months. Before receiving the blessing from Father Johnson, I was still discerning what I had just heard during the homily. I felt in that moment as if Christ, with a little wink of the eye was saying: “Did you not hear me, you are my valentine!” I was completely elated and had complete trust and confidence of my call to religious life in that moment. To receive the news of my acceptance into the postulancy in just a couple of days felt like Divine Providence.
Over the next six months I left my career with the Attorney General’s office in April. In May, I sold my dream car that I had only had since 2020. I volunteered on a fulltime basis for my parish (St. Paul’s Catholic Church), working specifically on their census project. I also continued my volunteer work at the Our Lady of Schoenstatt shrine as a guardian. My new schedule allowed for more and deeper prayer time. I began to take inventory of my possessions and eventually gave them away or donated them. It was a very gradual and meaningful experience to let go of items so I can more freely enter community life. I made sure to say goodbye to all my different ministry and formation groups as well as friend groups and finally, my family. With each goodbye it was like I was saying yes to the Lord once again.
On July 29th I made my “Covenant of Love” to the Blessed Mother through Schoenstatt. The covenant of love is the heart of the Schoenstatt spirituality. When you make your covenant, you are exchanging your own heart for the heart of the Blessed Mother and becoming an instrument of her capital of grace. It was very meaningful to seal this covenant before I joined the Community. The covenant allows me to live out my vocation more fully to the best of my ability with daily acts of sanctification. I know I am not walking this journey alone and have the Blessed Mother to guide and mold me in the image of her Divine Son.
My parish priest, Father Johnson, gifted me with a beautiful image of the Blessed Mother and Child Jesus and in exchange I gifted him with a sculpture containing Christ crucified with part of the “Our Father” and an image of the Last Supper which was gifted to
on the day of my baptism in 2021 by my godmother. The sculpture will now become a vocation cross; it will be passed around weekly throughout the parish to promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life. The vocation cross will be implemented on the anniversary of Father Johnson’s ordination.
I have been blessed to have the support of my very loving parish, as well as my friends and family. I understand there will be challenges but I hope to face them head on and through prayer one day at a time. I feel as though I am in a constant state of transition and growth. I look forward to growing closer to Christ and to the Community with each passing moment.
Is God calling you to be a Franciscan Sister? We invite you.