Their Vocation Story:
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances" (1Thes 5: 16-18a)
I started to read and study the Bible from an early age along with The Catechism of The Catholic Church that was also introduced to me. These early spiritual exposures helped me grow in the human and spiritual life as well. These has also developed my conscience sensitively to what pleases God.
When I was 15 years old, I attended the Bible class of the Sisters of the Lovers of the Holy Cross in my Parish, gradually I felt the love and attraction to the religious life. However, I never had the idea as to what congregation to join in. I just listened to the call in my heart.
Sr. Marie Nguyen Thi Huan
Ha Noi, Vietnam
Sr. Elisabeth Truong Thi Minh Thi
Ha Noi, Vietnam
“ I have written your name upon the palm of my hand.,”
The love of Christ gave me impetus to follow him in my life. I am always safe in the shadow of God’s Mercy.
My vocation started at home with my family and nurtured in my parish activities in the church. I had a great devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus since my childhood thanks to my family’s tradition of venerating the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
My fundamental faith was nourished by the piety of my family and further reinforced by the catechism that I have
“You did not choose me, no, I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last; so that the Father will give you anything you ask him in my name.” (John 15:16)
God’s love is greater than human imagination. Reminiscences of my vocation are abundant graces along this Mercy-filled journey. I was called into being by God and I am precious in his sight.
The seed of my vocation began to sprout when I joined a choir group in my parish in Vietnam which was taken
Sr Marie Josephine Tran
Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres
Via della Vignaccia, 193
00163 Rome, Italy
Tel. No. 39 06 66 41 89 36
contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
On the feast of the Pentecost, which was also the Feast of our Bible class, I was so full of awe and wonder and felt marvelous! My soul felt a strange inner joy which was indescribable.
When I got back home, I received a letter from one holy, lovely and highly-respected Sister of Saint Paul of Chartres. In her letter she wanted me to go and meet her at her convent the following day which I did.
After this meeting, I was given the opportunity to observe, study and experience the life of the sisters. The time passed by and I started to love the Spirit of the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Paul of Chartres, an Apostolic Order. However, in my mind I also have that love for the contemplative life. I continued to pray and discern for many years.
After I finished my studies, I was sent to Da Nang Province, Vietnam to have formation period.
Through studying and living in the Convent, I learned to love the Spirit and Charism of the Congregation all the more. I am fascinated by the ideals, spirituality and charism of the Congregation which is actually an apostolic and contemplative Order.
The words of Mother Maria Rouyre, one of the great SPC Mothers, touched me so deeply. She said, "the busier you are, the more your heart must be with God." This became one of the sources of encouragement for me each day. I felt my religious life is so full of meaning for in the midst of my busy apostolic works I also live as a contemplative religious.
With this inspiration, I aspire to give myself to God in the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Paul of Chartres all the more. With the love of God, I am more than determined to live and die for the Congregation with the desire to serve the poor and the outcasts of society.
Please join me in reciting the letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians 5: 16-18a with full conviction. This scriptural text has become my guiding light to the path of my spiritual journey, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances.”
attended and graces which I have daily received from the sacraments of the church. I also followed the Lectio Divina participated in by the young vocations in our parish
I had a good job when the call was very strong to bear witness for Christ so one day I decided to join in the diocese a Secular Institute of Missionary of Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was a nice time. But God urged me to go further in his love, He inspired me to enter a convent to have more intimate life with Him and to have more chance to serve the Church.
What a challenge! Once more, I quit all my attachments to follow Him. I believed His in his Providence and trusted in Him. Day by day, he taught me and led me through mysterious paths as though he wanted me to taste more and more His merciful graces. During the years, I had understood how wonderful God’s fidelity and Mercy were and he knew that I needed Him always.
Then… the happiest day arrived to me: my first vows in the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres. On this graceful day, a text from scriptures:“ I’ve written your name upon the palm of my hands.”(Is 49:16) touched me so much as though the mark of God’s love was engraved in my heart.
care of by SPC sisters. The seed grew more and more when I finished high school. But I tried to turn a deaf ear to the little whisper of God which stirred this unsettling ‘’something’’ in my heart. In my mind, I would go to university, preparing for my future. But God just had different plans for me.
Meanwhile, I continued with my study. I had tried being in control, doing this, living that, choosing this, leaving that - but there was still this gap, and it seemed to be getting bigger and less easy to ignore. I felt unhappy and realised there was something missing. I did not know what it was but felt that it would have something to do with God. I learned that my friends’ lives are great, but I need to sort mine out. I started praying and asked what God was calling me for. When I first started thinking about religious life, it all seemed so scary and so ‘not-me’.
One day, the Sister suddenly asked me: “Would you like to join the vocation week in my Congregation?” I was scared and just kept silent till another Sister said “She wouldn’t…”, and I immediately answered “Yes, I would…”. It was exciting, crazy, frightening, incredible, all at the same time. I knew that God was forming me to say ‘Yes’. I felt unable to bargain with God any longer. I heard myself say” not my will, but Your will be done”. I really surrendered to Him and my consecrated life has begun. I felt completely at peace.
The Holy Spirit and the love of God are truly working upon me. Nearly 11 years has passed since the date I entered the Convent. And God is with me always, whenever I go and in whatever I do. Without Him I can do nothing, even becoming a nun. I have no regrets to say “Yes” at the beginning and I am still very grateful to God for calling me to this unique lifestyle. My journey is not exempted from doubt, fear and disappointment. Yet there are also times of happiness, joy and fulfilment. I discovered some very beautiful things inside me, and realised that I still have a lot to learn.
Every day is full of grace. I realize that I’ve received God’s love much more than I could ever count in my life. And I’ve also realized that I, in turn, have to show His love to others in the same ways as God has done for me. I then also am receptive to the experience of God’s transforming mercy for me, so that I can have a big heart to welcome all the people whom I meet.
Long may my journey continue and may God keep me in His mercy forever.
World Youth Day Participation
ACTIVITIES and EVENTS
Divino Amore Recollection
When I was small, I went to attend the mass in our parish church, I saw some sisters who were helping the priest in the parish church. Before the mass started, the sisters gathered the children to sing, then they told the story about Jesus in the Bible. During the mass, the sisters also helped in the distribution of communion.
Luke 9: 23-24
The SPC Juniors in Rome
“Jesus said, if you wish to be a follower of mine, deny yourself and take up your cross each day and follow me! For if you choose to save your life you will lose it, but if you lose your life for my sake you will save it”.
Sr. Madalena Tjong
My attention was also drawn to the way they relate to the people. They were very respectful and always had the smiles on their faces. I said to myself that I want to become like them someday.
Many years later, I saw again the kindness and generosity of the sisters with their smiling faces while helping our parish priest in the many activities of the parish. They also have a program in their convent for young people to participate. Joining these activities made the religious calling that I felt grew more and more. After I finished my studies, I told my parents about my desire to become a sister. My parents were very supportive and allowed me to enter the convent.
My favorite scripture passage which has helped me a lot to pursue my vocation is from Luke 9: 23-24:
“Jesus said, if you wish to be follower of mine, deny yourself and take up your cross each day and follow me! For if you choose to save your life you will lose it, but if you lose your life for my sake you will save it”.
Before I was thinking that when we become a sister or follow the footsteps of Jesus everything would be fine and perfect. But when I started to seriously follow the call, I realized that the ideal was far from perfect. There were so many challenges that I have to overcome. One day I read the words of Jesus through the gospel of St. Luke and my heart was touched. These gave me so much inspiration and fortitude to continue to pursue what God has started in me. It reminded me that if I follow Him I must deny myself not to follow my own desire but to aspire to be humble instead and allow God’s will to direct my life. I have also to be aware of my daily choices and be ready to give up what is familiar and comfortable for me so that I can truly follow Him. I have to learn to die to myself, to surrender and give up my own desire in order to be able to uphold the virtues of the gospel and continue to persevere in my journey as a consecrated person.
The grace of God is not wanting as he continues to bless me with his faith, hope, love and steadfastness to desire all the more to follow him.
For with God nothing shall be impossible. Luke 1:37
Sr. Esperança Soares Mendes
My attraction to religious life started when I was very young. My parents are very devout Catholics. When I was 6 years old they started to teach me the basic prayers. During the months of May and October, I tagged along with them for the procession of Our Lady where we pray the rosary in our village, and every Sunday we attend the Mass together.
When I was 7 years old, I saw the Salesian sisters
giving Christmas recollection to the students in my hometown. They were very lively and happy. They taught them prayers and songs. They played the guitar and played different ball games with the students. I was so inspired to watch them playing very happily with the students. I told myself that I would like to become like them when I grow up.
When I started my senior year in high school, I joined the choir in the church and become one of the acolytes in our parish church. I also go with the Salesian priests and nuns to give catechism to the children and young people. Although my attraction to religious life became stronger as the years went by, I kept it to myself and did not share to anyone because I thought that it is impossible for me to be admitted since I do not have enough qualifications to become a sister.
However, one day, a group of nuns visited our house and recruited me to enter in their congregation. I observed their life and mission and realized that my religious calling is not with them. My older sister knows my deepest desire and that I am looking for something which I cannot describe or express fully, until I read the life and conversion of St. Paul. When my elder sister learned about this she introduced me to the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres in our place. The superior talked to me and let me observed their life and mission. It dawned on me that I found the place where I want to serve God.
As I started my formation step by step, I found the real joy and love of Christ for me. I believe that the love of God for me is greater than the love I have for him and that God will keep my love for Him forever for He loves me first before I knew him.
Renewal of Vows