Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Mother Assumpta Long on Divine Courtship

ANN ARBOR, Michigan, FEB. 13, 2004 (Zenit) - Each woman who is destined to be the bride of Christ as a religious sister has her own love story to tell.

So says Mother Assumpta Long, superior and one of the four founders of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist.

After many years in the religious life and witnessing a more than tenfold growth of the Sisters of Mary over the last seven years, Mother Assumpta has seen God's ongoing "courtship" with her fellow sisters, novices and those discerning their vocations.

She shared her thoughts on the challenges those women face in answering his call.

Q: How do vocation prospects today differ from, say, a generation ago?

Mother Assumpta: In past generations most young women entered the convent straight from high school or perhaps after a few years of college. Presently it seems that more discern God's invitation to become a consecrated religious after obtaining a degree and spending a few years in the work force.

God operates mysteriously in his own time with each soul; there is no "typical" timeline.

To one young woman he gives the grace of knowing she is destined to be his bride while in school, permitting her to give the gift of her youth and innocence at a young age; whereas to another, he gently pulls on the strings of her heart after she has sought to make her way in a career, realizing that no matter what riches, professional success or fulfillment the world may offer, she will never be truly fulfilled until she gives herself completely to him.

In our community we have young women from both ends of this spectrum and all along the middle.

It is an amazing realization for a woman that the personal qualities, gifts, talents and experiences God has bestowed upon her are actually gifts for her to utilize in her new family, the religious community. Every young woman who enters religious life is a priceless gift and she touches and affects the community uniquely and irrevocably.

It is amazing how uniquely he calls a woman to be entirely his; while there are several general characteristics which seem to point to a religious vocation -- such as love of the Church, liturgy and sacraments, devotion to Mary, love of Eucharistic adoration, etc. -- the love stories between God and the souls he chooses for his own are as unique as each individual religious.

One thing is constant: God's immense gift of love fills the heart and floods it with all the graces necessary to echo the fiat of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Annunciation: "Be it done unto me according to thy word."

The Church as a wise mother gives young women who are considering religious consecration a precious gift: the time of novitiate. Youth are generous, enthusiastic and fervent, but sometimes the initial enthusiasm can wane and it becomes apparent that the road to holiness lies along another path.

In the novitiate, a young woman can test her vocation by living the life day in and day out. She has time to pray and to listen to God's voice. Aside from discernment, this time is also invaluable in filling any gaps in an individual's religious formation, for example, the catechism, Scripture, theology, etc.

At the end of the novitiate, the young woman is free to make vows or return to the secular life. There should be no stigma if a young woman decides to leave the community, if she deems that God has created her for another vocation than religious life. She should be commended for having given it her best effort.

Q: Amid rising secularism in North America, what is it that most attracts women to a religious vocation today?

Mother Assumpta: Young people are unwavering in their desire for truth, real love and authenticity. Amidst all of the glitter, toys and noise the world holds as "must-haves," youth intuitively know that they are merely trifles, and want the real thing -- God.

Women often remark that they seek to join communities that have a communal prayer life, including daily Mass, common recitation of the Divine Office and the rosary.

In our community's experience, our particular emphasis on devotion to Jesus in the Eucharist and to Mary, the Mother of God, often attracts young women who want to make a daily Eucharistic holy hour as we do. We also make the St. Louis de Montfort Marian Consecration, which especially attracted several sisters.

Other elements young women have told me that they look for are fidelity to the Holy Father and the magisterium of the Church, the witness of a religious habit and balanced community life of prayer, study, work and play -- a family in which true fraternal charity is manifest, with all of its joys and challenges.

People often remark that they are extremely attracted by the genuine joy of the sisters. There is a peace and joy that radiates from the core of a woman's being when she is striving to achieve holiness along the path that God has destined for her.

True joy is present even in the midst of difficulty, pain or suffering; it is a grace and gift of God to the soul who is genuinely trying to follow his will for her life, in all of the daily tribulations as well as the high points.

Q: What special challenges do young women face if they want to pursue a religious vocation? Are their families generally still supportive, as in past generations?

Mother Assumpta: Some women are debilitated into indecision by the desire to have a tangible sign that they have a religious vocation, preferably one that is big, neon and flashing the message: "I want YOU to be a religious sister!"

God's invitation is often subtle and merits quiet prayer and contemplation. Remember that the prophet Elijah discerned the Lord's voice in the gentleness of the wind. God speaks to us in ordinary events, persons and situations.

Years of indecision may invariably end up forcing a woman never to act and thus turn her back on her potential vocation. God is patient, but the temptation of waiting "one more year" can turn into endless years, and suddenly, it's too late.

Another difficulty many young women face is debt from college education loans. As a larger number of women are discerning their vocation to religious life after they have attained college or graduate degrees, they have not had sufficient time to completely repay their educational debt. Religious communities may have difficulty in accepting a young woman with student loans.

The Lord is wondrous in his ways, and so we must trust him to help women find means to eliminate their school debt in order to embrace their vocation, whether it is assistance from their families, parish, charitable organizations or generous benefactors.

Family reactions to a woman's vocation are varied and range from viewing a woman's vocation as a blessing all the way to downright opposition. There are sacrifices that both a woman and her family make in embracing a religious vocation.

God is never outdone in generosity, however, and even the most resistant parents often experience an abundance of graces that flow from their daughter's vocation. Once they see their daughter transformed into the woman God intended her to be from all eternity, radiating the joy and love of Christ, they more easily accept the separation.

Many sisters find that they have a deeper, more genuine relationship with their families than they had prior to entering the convent.

Q: What is the best advice you could give to a young woman thinking of a vocation?

Mother Assumpta: Pray, listen and act. If a young woman truly wants to know and do God's will for her life, and if she opens her heart to his answer and listens, he will guide her.

Spending quiet prayer time with the Lord in adoration is one good way. I would suggest that a young woman ask Our Lady to guide her -- she is the perfect exemplar of receptivity to God's will. Having recourse to competent spiritual direction is always helpful.

Once a young woman has a fairly good idea that the Lord may be calling her, she must act on that inspiration. She should begin communicating with religious communities, for the Holy Spirit will guide her through these contacts.

Lastly, a vocation must be tried and lived over a period of time. As I mentioned earlier, a woman who enters religious life and is truly open to the Lord's graces will know if it is her vocation or not.

Q: What is the best advice you could give to families to encourage vocations among their children?

Mother Assumpta: The best gift parents can give their children is to live their married vocation with great love, joy and fidelity; in this domestic school of charity children learn to choose the good and the true, and to embrace their vocations willingly.

Instilling a deep love and reverence for the Church, her sacraments, priests and religious in children gives them a solid foundation of faith, love and fidelity for life. It also helps them to be open and to respond generously to God's will for their lives, whatever it may be. Prayer on behalf of children and their vocations, and teaching them to pray for their own vocations is an investment well made.

Having exposure to priests and religious is also helpful in encouraging vocations. Parents should be supportive and underscore the fact that God creates each person for a purpose, here on earth and in heaven, and gives the soul all the helps and graces necessary to make it to heaven in the particular vocation he has planned.

The great mystery and adventure is discovering what God's will is and doing it with joy.

Contact

Catholic Online
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000

Email

info@yourcatholicvoice.org

Keywords

Woman, Women, Consecrated, Life, Christ

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 250 of 4,719

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity
DAN SHEA

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Priestly Identity: Crisis and Renewal (Part 1)
Catholic Online

Al Qaeda...afraid of Benedict's message!
Hugh McNichol

Benedict XVI...calling all to hope...
Hugh McNichol

Perfect Women
Cheryl Dickow

Papal Palm Sunday Address - 'Enough With the Bloodshed'
Catholic Online

Spotlight on China
Catholic Online

Papal Homily for Palm Sunday
Catholic Online

Holy Week...Holy Time!
Hugh McNichol

Mary and Motherhood
Cheryl Dickow

The Void
Paul Sposite

Islamic violence wounds the global community!
Hugh McNichol

The Seven New Deadly Sins!
Hugh McNichol

Catholic benefits include Catholic principles!
Hugh McNichol

Remembering Father Alfred Kunz
Matt C. Abbott

David vs Goliath
Theresa Lisiecki

Happy Lent!
Paul Sposite

Diplomacy...Vatican style!
Hugh McNichol

Sub umbra Petri! (Under the Shadow of Saint Peter)
Hugh McNichol

Cuba...a neonascent Church!
Hugh McNichol

Kids in Conflict
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On the Writings of St. Augustine
Catholic Online

The Relevance of Lourdes at 150
Catholic Online

Hillary...what would Saint Norbert say!
Hugh McNichol

Lent...questions, answers and involvement!
Hugh McNichol

Mary, Mother of all Humanity, Hic et Nunc!
Hugh McNichol

Catholics...WAKE UP!
Hugh McNichol

Catholic Brotherhood with the People of the Covenant
Hugh McNichol

Have mercy on us O Lord! - Ash Wednesday
Hugh McNichol

Vote early, vote Catholic!
Hugh McNichol

Christ, our global Alpha and Omega!
Hugh McNichol

Being Catholic means...total affirmation of being Catholic!
Hugh McNichol

Seeing the World through New Eyes
Sarah Reinhard

Emulating the Angelic Doctor!
Hugh McNichol

Priests defend, commend Archbishop Raymond Burke
Matt C. Abbott

Saint Paul...a continued example of radical conversion!
Hugh McNichol

A renaissance of faith, reason and global cooperation....
Hugh McNichol

Cardinal Rigali's Homily at Life Vigil
Catholic Online

Angelus: On Christian Unity
Catholic Online

Silencing the Pope
Catholic Online

Papal Homily on Feast of Christ's Baptism
Catholic Online

Education and Gender
Catholic Online

The ignominy of Roe vs. Wade
Hugh McNichol

Papal Message for World Day of the Sick
Catholic Online

Angelus: On Christian Unity
Catholic Online

Benedict XVI's Planned Lecture at La Sapienza
Catholic Online

Pope's Letter to Jesuits' 35th General Congregation
Catholic Online

Fr. Cantalamessa - Behold, the Lamb of God!
Catholic Online

That We May Be One, and Never Lose Heart
Catholic Online

Sowing Hope in Sierra Leone
Catholic Online

God-incidences are the gift of kairos moments
Mary Regina Morrell

St. Augustine's Last Days
Catholic Online

Liturgy: When There's a Medical Emergency
Catholic Online

Marriage and Celibacy: Love's Link
Catholic Online

Developing a Global Catholic Awareness
Hugh McNichol

Rooms in My Father's House
Cheryl Dickow

Resolutions for New Year 2008
Chris Anthony

Keep teaching Holy Father!!!
Hugh McNichol

Dangers of anti-Catholic academic extremism....
Hugh McNichol

The liturgy war
Matt C. Abbott

Some Answers to a Few Common Questions about Vocations
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Developing a Global Catholic Awareness
Hugh McNichol

Christmas reflections
Chris Anthony

The Lasting Contribution of The Servant of God Pope John Paul II
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

No more bobble-head Jesus'!
Hugh McNichol

Pope's Address to Baptist World Alliance
Catholic Online

The Virgin Without Sin
Catholic Online

Cardinal Vingt-Trois on His New Mission
Catholic Online

Archbishop Forte on Religion & Freedom: Part 1
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On St. Chromatius of Aquileia, Pope, Benedict
Catholic Online

Pope's Address for Consistory of Cardinals
Catholic Online

Trafficking in Lives
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict - On Hope
Catholic Online

The Hidden Costs of Gambling
Catholic Online

A Vital, Life-Giving Message
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Christianity's Contribution
Catholic Online

Youth and Fashion's Modest Twist
Catholic Online

Papal Homily at the Consistory
Catholic Online

Love, Marriage and Happy Kids
Catholic Online

The Virtue of Obedience: Our Duty, Our Crown
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Vere dignum et justum est!
Hugh McNichol

Pope's Address to Bishops of Kenya
Catholic Online

Democracy in Danger in Venezuela
Catholic Online

The Life-Sapping Human Virus
Catholic Online

'You Alone Are The Lord': A Brief Summary of Catholic Teaching
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Sacred Time...Come Lord Jesus!
Hugh McNichol

How Christ-like are we in our lives?
Chris Anthony

A Retreat for Today's Christian Woman
Cheryl Dickow

Pope Benedict - On Trust in God
Catholic Online

God and Caesar Seen From Down Under
Catholic Online

Praying the Luminous Mysteries for our Clergy
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Culture's Pressure on Our Girls
Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle

Papal Message on the Common Good
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - St. Jerome on the Bible
Catholic Online

What Every Parent Should Know About 'The Golden Compass'
Catholic Online

Cardinal Poupard on 'Populorum Progressio'
Catholic Online

A Richer Liturgical Translation: Interview With Bishop Roche
Catholic Online

U.S. Bishops' Statement on War in Iraq
Catholic Online

The 'Golden Compass' is no treasure for children
Mary Regina Morrell

Bishop Skylstad's Address to U.S. Bishops' Fall Meeting
Catholic Online

Rewarding Failure
Catholic Online

On St. Martin of Tours
Catholic Online

Undermining Parents
Catholic Online

God...our theological E.F.Hutton!
Hugh McNichol

The Secular Vs. Religion?
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On St. Jerome
Catholic Online

The Scourge of Poverty
Catholic Online

Sons and Daughters of God...EQUALLY!
Hugh McNichol

On Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
Catholic Online

Why Dads Matter
Catholic Online

Archbishop Chaput on Citizenship and Evangelization
Catholic Online

God Created Man for Life, Not Death
Catholic Online

Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for November
Catholic Online

Imposing 'Tolerance'
Catholic Online

A Turn to the Fathers: Interview With Father Robert Dodaro
Catholic Online

Evangelizing a Digital World
Catholic Online

Women Religious on Human Trafficking
Catholic Online

John Crosby on Von Hildebrand's Understanding of the Person
Catholic Online

Chicago law firm fights for civil rights, against death culture
Matt C. Abbott

On the Call to Martyrdom
Catholic Online

Media Benefits and Dangers
Catholic Online

Fr. Cantalamessa - The Pharisee and the Publican
Catholic Online

Aborting Viable Lives
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On St. Ambrose of Milan
Catholic Online

'You Alone Are The Lord': A Brief Summary of Catholic Teaching
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Prostitution: Legal Work or Slavery?
Catholic Online

Address of Holy See on Religious Liberty
Catholic Online

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin on 'Populorum Progressio'
Catholic Online

Escaping Poverty: Interview With Archbishop Silvano Tomasi
Catholic Online

Christ's Parable About the Need to Pray Always
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On St. Eusebius of Vercelli
Catholic Online

Recovering subtle signs of our Catholic Identity!
Hugh McNichol

On Peace, Missions and Justice
Catholic Online

Congratulations to His Eminence John Cardinal Foley!
Hugh McNichol

Giving Ourselves Completely to Mary
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

The 'Courage' to go 'Beyond Gay'
Matt C. Abbott

When Bioethics Turned Secular
Catholic Online

Confession Comeback
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On Hilary of Poitiers
Catholic Online

Reemergence of Global Catholic Identity!
Hugh McNichol

Father Cantalamessa on the Leap of Faith
Catholic Online

Month of the Rosary
Catholic Online

Why Technology Needs Ethics
Catholic Online

Cardinal Lozano Barragán on Future of Health Care
Catholic Online

How Can Catholics Understand Mary as Co-Redemprix, Mediatrix of All Graces and Advocate?
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

New Saint Book is Visually Stunning and Filled with Detail
Lisa M. Hendey

Papal Homily in Velletri
Catholic Online

Wednesday'a Audience - On St. Cyril of Alexandria
Catholic Online

Father Cantalamessa Analyzes Relationship
Catholic Online

Holy See Address to U.N. General Assembly
Catholic Online

Homily From Red Mass in Washington
Catholic Online

Pope Remembers Cardinal Van Thuân
Catholic Online

The brave monks of Myanmar
Chris Anthony

Faith in Politics
Catholic Online

On Lazarus and World Hunger
Catholic Online

Fighting the Good Fight: Resisting Temptation
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Media frenzy buries U.N. goals

Holy See Statement on Climate Change
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On Chrysostom's Social Doctrine
Catholic Online

China's Seven Sorrows
Catholic Online

Vatican Message to Muslims for Ramadan
Catholic Online

Father Cantalamessa on the First World and Lazarus
Catholic Online

Angels, God's Messengers in a world of fragile peace and Broken promises!
Hugh McNichol

Memo to Mrs. Clinton: Why Not Baby Bonds When Life Begins?
Deacon Keith Fournier

Reorienting the Mass
Catholic Online

Report Card on Religious Freedom
Catholic Online

On Wealth and Poverty
Catholic Online

A Response to Hitchens' 'God Is Not Great'
Catholic Online

Vetoing children's health care?

The ideal family
Joseph Sinasac

Who does the judging?
Dennis Heaney

One mistake away

The Big House ban

In praise of the parish

Text of the USCCB statement for Respect Life Sunday 2007

The Outstanding Purity of Our Blessed Mother
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Educated flock

Religion and politics

Facing a door to the future
Dennis Heaney

A long debate

Who Are the True Progressives?
Deacon Keith Fournier

Petraeus offers a dose of reality

Insurgence
Robert Storr

Papal Address at Vespers
Catholic Online

Papal Coat of Arms Still Relevant
Catholic Online

Benedict XVI's Address at Heiligenkreuz Abbey
Catholic Online

On Loving Jesus as Mary Did
Catholic Online

Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos on 'Summorum Pontificum'
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On the Trip to Austria
Catholic Online

Father Cantalamessa on the Joy of Fatherhood
Catholic Online

Commentary on Artificial Hydration and Nutrition
Catholic Online

Vatican on Nutrition to Patients in Vegetative State
Catholic Online

Benedict XVI's Q-and-A Session With Youth in Loreto
Catholic Online

Take a Risk, Follow Your Call: the challenge of a lifetime!
Sisters of Bon Secours

Papal lessons

Family matters

Lessons from a tragedy
Dennis Heaney

Shopping blues
Joseph Sinasac

Marriage Breakdown: Expensive and Divisive
Catholic Online

Her darkness was a warning

The Light of Mother Teresa's Darkness - Part 2
Catholic Online

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Peter 1:10-16
10 This salvation was the subject of the search and investigation of the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 3-4
1 [Psalm] Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has performed wonders, his ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:28-31
28 Peter took this up. 'Look,' he said to him, 'we have left everything ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 24th, 2016 Image

St. David I of Scotland
May 24: David, the youngest son of Scotland's virtuous ... Read More