Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Mary Teresa Bettag (high school Theology and Public Speaking teacher, Co-Campus Minister, head coach of cross-country team and the distance coach for track and field team at Arizona Yuma Catholic High School) responds to the question: What do you love about being a Religious Sister?
So I felt called to be a Sister when I was in 3rd grade, but I had no idea what that was – I didn’t meet my first Sister until I was a freshmen in high school. While I knew the call was from God (since it absolutely could not have come from me) I also was not super gung-ho about it because I had no idea what it meant. Luckily, God knows better than we do.
I had my most profound experience of God on Valentine’s Day my senior year of college when I felt unmistakably called and invited to this community. I couldn’t believe God could be that clear with us, but I also was afraid because I knew I had to do it.
I have never regretted it. I love the time we have built into our day and our lives for prayer. When I get asked to give vocation talks at grade schools I’ll often ask the students what they think the biggest/most important decision they ever made was (so entertaining to hear their answers). Then I’ll ask them to guess what they think mine was. Invariably they guess becoming a sister. No. It was the decision to pray. If we believe that nothing and no one can change our lives the way God can, then nothing can change our lives the way prayer does. So I love the chance we have for prayer.
I also love that the ordinary things I do take on added significance because I do them with the public witness of our habit. It leads to some fabulous (and fascinating) conversations. It makes sharing faith and witnessing that much easier, and it opens the door to great conversations with my students who witness the regular gas station encounters on the way to and from our meets.
As we near the Feast of the Presentation, we pray for young people to respond to the call from God to Consecrated Life. Come visit us.