I believe what influenced them to take the step was also mine – a very deep Faith that nurtured and nourished a love for God and his people from a very young age. My parents lived the Faith intensely, with their weaknesses. At 6 years old Mum began the ritual of daily Mass before school. By 13, I was playing the organ and participating in activities in Novena Church.
The life spent there was a healthy wholesome mix of relationships –no holy-moly stuff – but the Australian Redemptorists, despite their fire and brimstone homilies, filled our young lives with fun, laughter and blended the strict religiousity at home with a sense of a God who loved us.
My attraction to the religious life came when I was in my final year of school. There were two sets of nuns with whom I had contact. Which one was I called to? The Redemptorist I spoke to asked me to complete my studies and then decide. So, the decision confronted me again 3 years later, when a rather comfortable relationship with a boy had begun. There was also a new Congregation of Sisters I had beome involved with –simple, funny and Franciscan. We used to say we smelt them before we held their hand! Standing in the choir loft one Saturday, waiting for the Novena to begin, I looked at the crucifix hanging in the sanctuary. With the ears of my searching heart, I heard, “ There will be no one who will love you more than Me!” A sense of peace came over me despite my fear. In the challenging moments of these 53 years of FMM religious that moment has been my touchstone of rootedness.