Sister Anne Schenck
I realize that the seeds were sown in many childhood experiences.
The idea of becoming a "Sister" was often on my mind during my early years. I realize that the seeds were sown in many childhood experiences.
Growing up on a farm, I enjoyed a carefree and active childhood. Influences that strongly affected my early life were: the large framed pictures in my home of The Agony in the Garden and St. Therese of Lisieux; the visit of fun-loving Sisters who hitched up their habits to join us at baseball; and the First Communion hymn that I sang in my heart for years without realizing what I was asking for: "Take my heart and fill it full of love for Thee; all I have I give Thee, give Thyself to me."
High School and College Days
I told my boyfriend not to get serious because eventually I was going to become a Sister. Strangely, it was at a New Year's fun-filled dance that I experienced a stronger call to religious life.
One summer during my college days, I described to a Sister my lack of peace and my procrastination in responding to God's call. Very wisely she responded, "Yes, by putting off the decision, you live in turmoil. Give yourself one year to pray and make a final decision. If the answer is ‘yes' then go to the convent; if ‘no' get on with your life." Immediately I knew the answer was YES; I was finally at peace, and entered the convent the following year.
The Final Outcome
In retrospect, I'm glad I struggled against the call, because to this day I know it was God's pull or initiative, and not merely my decision. In Community I have experienced the support of the Sisters in being faithful to a life of prayer and listening to God's Voice. I have also been stretched through my ministry in schools for 33 years, at Herron Place Refugee Centre for six years, and especially during the founding of Furniture Bank. That was truly an experience of walking with God. Now I pray with the Psalmist:
Not to us, Lord, not to us, but to Your Name give the glory. (115)