About Me!

If it’s ok, I’d like to tell you a little about myself and my call…just so you can know where I’m coming from.
My parents had 16 children…I’m the 14th.  Since they had 16 children, I thought I could do more.  At age 5, I remember telling my mother I was going to have 17 children.  Later, that number changed to 21.  At some point in my teens, I realized I would only be able to find one man who would allow me to have all the children I could ever want.  His name is Jesus.  I often said to myself that physically, I would never be able to bear all the children I want to have.  I felt my heart was too big.  That was not a statement of grandeur, but of a deep feeling.
In high school, I finally met the Salesian Sisters.  I loved their joy, their sense of humor, their ability to make faith real, and to BE real.  I loved to see them play volleyball with us, and just hang out.  Love for God for the Salesian is not relegated to prayer life that is multiplied, but infuses the heart of life and our very breathing.
Salesians, in fact, until the last few years, found most of their vocations among their students.  I think this is a testament to the quality of the presence of the Sisters among the young, and the power of the witness of their lives in community and for God.
So, I inevitably began to think about religious life.  But who wants to be a nun today?  That’s not cool!  That’s not fun!  So I got busy about NOT being a nun.  I dated a few guys throughout high school, and every time I would come home, I really can’t explain this part, but there was an emptiness, like I wanted to say, “That’s all?”.
By Senior year, I realized that I would have to make a decision, and after a roller coaster of yes/no, I decided that I would have to give religious life a go, and here’s what made up my mind:  I went to babysit for a couple.  The woman was 34.  They had two boys, nice kids, and fun to be with.  The lady asked me once, “So, what are you going to do after high school?”  I already had a standard answer to this question, and so I provided it.  I said, “Well, I’m not sure, I guess I’ll just go to college and study to be a nurse, or something.”  She couldn’t believe it.  She kept saying, “What?  You’re gonna be a nurse?  You should work with kids!  My kids love when you babysit; they count down the days until you come!”  So I told her – and I will never konw why I told HER – I never told anyone this huge secret, but I said, “Well…I know it’s funny, but I have these great nuns at my school, and sometimes I think of joining them, but I’m not sure.”  (Little did she know that the next thing she said would make up my mind~!) So she said, “Hey, that’s funny.  I used to have great Sisters at my schoo, and I used to think the same thing, and sometimes, I STILL WONDER IF THAT’S WHAT I SHOULD HAVE DONE.”  So, needless to say, I did NOT want to wind up 34 and having missed the boat on a vocation…I entered that year!
And it was excellent.  That little something that was always unsatisfied and unsettled wound up being still and happy, and my heart was full, as it still is very much today.
I have taught for most of my religious life.  Kids spend most of their day in school, and Salesians are all about kids, so…  I taught everything from Kindergarten to High School…loving the work with the munchkins the most.  After school hours were always full with teaching drums, guitar, calligraphy, twirling, drama clubs, arts and crafts, videography, crochet, basketball, and all sorts of other activities.  For the most part, the Sisters take their skills and share them with the young during the afterschool hours…
Our “family spirit” is a spirit of joy.  I hope it’s contagious enough for you to catch it, as I did!
38 comments on “About Me!
  1. juliett perez says:

    Sr. Colleen, I love your vocation story!!! Thank you for posting it on the internet, I think it will be awesome for girls who are thinking about entering to see your blog. I hope you are enjoying Italy.
    Love,
    Juliett.
    P.S- your a great inspiration.

  2. brotherutoy says:

    Hi! Sr.Brittany recommended your website and, reading your posts, I guess she has all the reasons to recommend it. They are refreshing, well-written and, at the end of each article, I always felt uplifted. I’m a filipino seminarian of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament spending his pastoral year at an obscure mountain-village in Rhone-Alpes and is secretly keeping a blog to keep himself sane. If you don’t mind, I’ll visit here often. God bless!

  3. Naughty says:

    AWE, cute story…i swear ive heard that same story from someone I met in November!!!!! Oh yeah….it was from you! LOL! I miss you so and I cant wait to be your real Sister in August!!!!!

    MUAH!

  4. Eileen says:

    Hi Sister LC –
    I am really enjoying reading your blog – but am wondering who was the family you were babysitting for? Do I know them? I never knew that story about your vocation, it really is beautiful.
    Love, your sister, Eileen (#10)

  5. happynun says:

    Eileen, I like your question…and no, I don’t think you know the family. In fact, I am sure I don’t know their name. It was during a time when I was working at Nicky’s but about to go back to the Diner, and I was babysitting for a lot of people. I remember the woman had long, blonde hair – but that’s all! (Shoulda recorded THAT name, for history’s sake! – Sr. C…Coll (#14)

  6. Trong says:

    Hi Sister Colleen! There’s so much joy and life in your vocation story. You are a great witness to the young. Thank you for sharing :-)

  7. fr. Paolo Padrini says:

    I’d like to offer this story on my application that brings the prayer on iPhone.
    I believe that prayer is Christian and Catholic from spreading. You wonder why you can publish the news and if you can spread it to your friends on your blog.

    thanks

    fr. Paolo Padrini

    Vatican. iBreviary: Church pray with iPhone

    Dear Sirs,
    Editing and Friends of iBreviary,

    iBreviary, as you know, it’s a new application for iPhone,
    available from immediately in Spanish, French, English, Latin and Italian.
    iBreviary offers the possibility, in a simple way and in a perfect “Apple
    style”, to pray in mobility with the prayer of the Breviary.
    It offers besides the readings of the Mass of the Day (Missal), as well as the
    principal Catholic prayers.
    The application, realized by me together with the technician and
    developer Dimitri Giani, has got the applause and the encouragement
    of the Vatican.

    iBreviary has now reached its third updating.
    This updating brings important changes:
    – available application in version Italian and English
    – available readings in English, French, Spanish, Latin and in Ambrosian Rite
    – possibility to pray with the Compieta of the previous day
    – new dress graphics
    – possibility to increase the size of the characters
    – possibility of use in formed “landscape” rotating the iPhone
    – page of explanation about the use of the Breviary
    – fix of some bugs

    The application is available inside the app store to the price of
    support for the developers of 0,79 cents (Euro).

    Besides, also Facebook will have his “digital Breviary”. Its name is
    “Praybook” and it’s an available application on the most important social
    network of the world.
    The application allows to pray on line with the same prayers of iBreviary.

    Thanks for everything.

    father Paolo Padrini
    http://www.dimix.it/ibreviary

    http://www.americamagazine.org/blog/entry.cfm?blog_id=2&id=B229A854-1321-AEAA-D3C7465D8C8B5E1C

  8. smile=) says:

    sister, your story is beautiful, and inspiring. Just one question though. How old were you when you were babysitting and made up your mind and entered later that year?

  9. lRN says:

    Hi, I’ve talked to you before on myspace I think, lol. Yours is a very inspiring story to me. I have a lot of respect for you and all who are in the religious life. Who knows, someday I may enter if I feel that is what God needs of me. :)

  10. Hi, Smile =)

    Believe it or not, I was 17… I know, I know, it’s crazy! But I have always been happy that I was that brave when I was young, who knows if I would have had the courage later on???

  11. Steve says:

    Dear Sister Colleen,

    My name is Steve and was wondering how to contact you to see if you wouldn’t mind writing a review of my website http://www.CatholicExpert.com on your blog (good or bad).

    You can contact me at prayerbead@catholicexpert.com.
    Happy Easter
    Steve

  12. Sr. Claudia Mae, FMA says:

    Great site, my beloved Sister!
    i’m happy to meet through the net, to know that we are in this beautiful family together…
    i feel your great passion and love for Jesus and the gratitude for your vocation that comes with it!
    it’s very inspiring…

  13. Sr. Claudia Mae, FMA says:

    Viva Gesu e Maria!!! Buona Festa on August 5!!!

  14. happynun says:

    Where are you from, Sr. Claudia Mae? I’m happy we are in the same family, too. Our Mother General is coming to visit, soon, so I hope I will be able to add some new material to my blog. God bless you!

  15. Krystian says:

    Hi!

    I am a servant of God on http://www.prophecyfilm.com and wish to beg you, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to please link to this wonderful site which has glorious Prophecies & Revelations of Jesus and Mary from Saint Bridget in many languages!

    We also have free videos for download on various catholic topics, and maybe hoped that you could tell your visitors! They are a bit further down on the page and are quite interesting. You are free to copy all our videos on our site http://www.prophecyfilm.com to your site if you like them. This can draw lots of brothers and sisters to your site. We know by experience. We hope you also read the revelations and watch our videos personally!

    Peace and God bless!

    Krystian M.
    prophecyfilm1@gmail.com
    http://www.prophecyfilm.com

    Saint Bridget was canonized by Pope Boniface IX in the year 1391 and confirmed by Pope Martin V in the Council of Constance in the year 1415.

    The Revelations of Saint Bridget were accorded an exceptionally high degree of authenticity, authority and importance from an early date. Pope Gregory XI (1370-78) approved and confirmed them and judged them highly favorably, as did Boniface IX (1389-1404) in the papal Bull Ab origine mundi, par. 39 (7 Oct 1391). They were later examined at the Council of Constance (1414-18) and at the Council of Basel (1431-49), both judging them to be in conformity with the Catholic faith; The Revelations were also strongly defended by numerous highly regarded theologians, including Jean Gerson (1363-1429), Chancellor of the University of Paris and Cardinal Juan de Torquemada (1388-1468)

  16. I loved this vocation story. Thank you so much for sharing it.

  17. Kristina says:

    I have been looking into the Salesian Sisters recently and just stumbled upon this blog. It encourages me greatly to hear your story and I see myself in your story. I am currently an elementary music teacher and I have been discerning a vocation to religious life for a few years now. I’ve thought about it since junior high school. I feel like I need to attempt this path and soon! I’m 25 but I feel like I am in limbo because I don’t know what the future holds for me. You give me courage to seek out and GO! Thank you!

  18. happynun says:

    Hi, Kristina!

    Well, I have good news for you – and bad news! The bad news is: I’m the Vocation Director. The good news is: I’m the Vocation Director. So – I say to you…COME and VISIT.

    I know that little burning question in your heart, “Is this for me, Lord…do You want me for Your own?” Will never be settled without coming. So, look me up on facebook! Let’s plan a time when you can at least begin to find the answer!

  19. Tanya says:

    Soster. what is the age limit for entrance to the Salesian Sisters? I have a long conversion story, don’t want to share it online here, and am in middle 40’s and still wondering puzzled as to how to start or continue re-looking into religious life “again”. God bless, Tanya

  20. happynun says:

    Hey, Tanya!

    Our limit is 35. Certainly, though, there are plenty of organizations that will help you look into Religious Vocations. One is Vocations Placement – http://vocationsplacement.org. Another, which provides an online quiz, is Vision Vocation Match – http://vocation-network.org/match. I hope you will look these sites up! If there is any other way I can be of assistance, please do let me know!

    God bless you, Tanya – In Our Lady’s Hands, Sr. Colleen, FMA

  21. Anne says:

    Hi Sr. Colleen! I saw your website in facebook and tried to visit it, I do not regret that I did! I grew up in the presence of the Salesians in the Philippines and while reading your blog, I became nostalgic. I aspired to be one of you, but like God plans something else for me. Not that I have shunned the door of entering the religious life but I have faith that God would always lead me to where He wants me to be. I enjoyed reading your blog, I am inspired even more. I pray for you. Gob Bless You!

  22. happynun says:

    Dear Anne,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, and for your kind words. I know that finding your place in the world and discovering God’s plan can be difficult and confusing. My prayers are with you and for you.

    Love in Our Lady,
    Sr. Colleen, FMA

  23. Kelly says:

    Great blog sister!!! I knew that was you =D

  24. happynun says:

    You’re a great girl, Kelly. I’ll always be happy that God allowed our paths to cross! Go, class of 2000! ;o)

  25. Audie Cline says:

    Dear Sister Colleen,
    Helen and I watched the aspirant video this evening and had goosebumps watching Marianne and the other girls. The song they sang to welcome Mother was especially beautiful and had an almost angelic quality about it. Each of them looked so happy. Marianne especially looked happy and excited as she received her medal. Though we were not able to attend, we kept her in our prayers and will continue to do so. We thank God each day for Marianne and for you, Sister.
    Our best regards,
    Audie and Helen Cline

  26. lena says:

    Sr. Colleen,

    Thank you for stopping by my blog and offering me a word of encouragement. I will be certain to add you and your intentions to my family’s prayers.

    Ad Jesum per Mariam,
    Lena

  27. kyla says:

    I went to Camp Auxilium (had to sing the song to spell it) from age 5-13. I remember you vividly, your huge welcoming smile! : )

  28. Renee says:

    What does “FMA” stand for?

    Thanks,

    Renee

  29. happynun says:

    Hey, Renee! I actually answerd that in this post:

    http://happynun.wordpress.com/2011/06/07/what-does-fma-mean/

    Have a great day…and G.B.U. (God Bless You!)

    Love and prayers,
    sr.c

  30. SaintlySages says:

    Thanks for creating this excellent blog, Sister. Like you, I find great benefit in the spiritual wisdom of St. Francis de Sales. He will be the subject of many future posts on my blog saintlysages.wordpress.com
    God bless! Live Jesus!
    Dave

  31. selvarani says:

    why don’t you update your site? how about your wishes to Mother Yuvanne on world gratitude day?

  32. happynun says:

    Good idea; on her feast day I’ll feature her!

  33. Hey, Sr. you are special blessing– especially when you came by St. Patrick HIAL at St. Charles, IL . . . . You played the drum and led a band that was amazingly surprising to me. . . . Most of all, today as I read your vocation story just led me to appreciate my vocation for the priesthood. I have it using the most flat and lowly way. HERE ON I CAN START TO TELL THE WORLD ‘GOD MADE FUN OF ME.” ??? HA HA God bless us all!

  34. happynun says:

    Thanks and God bless you – I’m glad you stopped by my blog!! God has done great things for you and will continue to bless you; be sure that I and all the Sisters accompany you on the path to sanctity. ;)

  35. Bernadette says:

    Sister, I love all your boards on Pinterest. You sure do erase all the strange images some people have of nuns. I wish I had somebody like you as a teacher growing up. 50 years ago, things were a lot different.

  36. happynun says:

    Thanks, Bernadette! I hope to become a saint. Let’s pray for each other in this plan!! ;)

  37. Pat Johnson says:

    Sister Colleen, my thanks to you for sharing and allowing so many to read your life story. I can tell through all you write the many dreams that are part of all that you do. It is always interesting to wonder if in one’s life we had made different choices, what the outcome would have been? Yet, we tend to be how life has taken us! I am impressed with all, in your own individual way, you entered a life-long encounter with your spiritual side. This has balanced, strengthened you, and today your life is complete. I want you to know I deeply respect you and always when I think of you I just automatically ………….smile! I also love your sisters and the tremendous work that is done.

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