Sister Andrea Dumont
Deep down I knew this was where I should be.
My entrance into this world happened in St. Catharines, Ontario. During primary classes, when a visiting missionary spoke to us, I decided I wanted to be a missionary, but in my mind there was no connection between that and being a "nun."
Grade school, high school and nursing were all with the Sisters of St. Joseph. Because of my Catholic family life, I often went to daily mass but never at the convent where I went to high school! I wanted to prove to the world that you could be a daily communicant and not end up in a convent. When one of the Sisters suggested that I might consider entering the community, I indignantly replied, "Me and my twelve kids," because I truly wanted to marry and have a large family.
By the time I graduated from nursing, the idea of being a Sister gnawed at my insides and spoiled my carefree life. I rejected it but after a while decided that the only way to have peace was to enter and prove to everyone, including myself, that it definitely wasn't my destiny. I sincerely hoped to be sent away as unsuitable material. I even provided incentives.
But it didn't happen and deep down I knew this was where I should be. A dozen years later, volunteers were requested to go to our new mission in Guatemala. I volunteered. In a community of 500-600 Sisters, chances of going were very slim. Incredibly, I was chosen as one of the first four and remained there until the mission closed fourteen years later. I am presently working in northern Manitoba — certainly an area much poorer spiritually than Guatemala, and yes, I'm at peace.
My assessment? God sure has a sense of humour!