I grew up in a small mining town in Northeastern Pennsylvania. We were a traditional, Catholic family of family of 3 boys and 4 girls. We were moderately active in our parish and I attended a Catholic school for 12 years. After, I spent four years at Regis College in Weston, Massachusetts.
In elementary school, I pondered the idea of becoming a Sister, but did nothing to foster my vocation. Still, it was always in the back of my mind. It didn’t stop me from dating regularly in college and, in my junior year, I began dating one particular boy.
However, the thought of a religious vocation was still present. During my second semester of my junior year, I began to give a religious vocation serious consideration. In my senior year, I began looking at communities whose main work was in the inner city, with an emphasis on children.
I had great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, so I visited the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and decided that I was called to that community. It was then that I told my parents about my vocation and my mother said she would agree if I talked to a Vincentian Priest first. There was a Vincentian Seminary a few miles from my home. I agreed and made an appointment at Mary Immaculate Seminary.
This was turned out to be a pivotal time in my life. The Priest I spoke with suggested that, before I made a final decision, I visit the Daughters of Charity. Upon returning to Regis, I contacted the Daughters of Charity in Boston. I went to visit them. When I arrived, I sat in the waiting room with two children. As we were waiting, a Sister came by to talk with the children. She smiled at them and talked with them as they waited for their father to bring their mother and newborn sibling to the waiting room. This very brief encounter touched me deeply. Minutes later, I was called to my appointment with the Director of the Hospital, only to learn that she was the Sister I had seen with the children.
During our conversation, Sister suggested that I come and spend the weekend with the Daughters and visit some of the other Daughters of Charity works in the area. I did and, by the end of the visit, I knew that this was the Community for me. Why? Because the Sisters looked happy! They were so friendly and welcoming toward me. They had such a variety of different works, all with a mission of service to the poor. My parents approved and I entered the Daughters of Charity that September.
My gratitude to God’s for guiding me is unending!
- Sister Margaret Mary Hohl