Sr. Mary Gael Daley OP

The grace of my vocation (it seems to me) began while I was in my mother’s womb when she was baptized Catholic.  My father’s faith her inspiration and strength.  I was baptized myself 2 weeks after birth.  Guided by my loving parents along with my older brother and sister, my vocation was subtly nourished by that baptismal water and the food of Holy Communion.  Another brother and then a little sister widened our family to 7 and taught me the ways of caring, sharing and “getting into squabbles.”  All of us kids trooped off to the same Catholic grade and high school for 12 years.  But a new life and wondrous revelation came when I received Confirmation.  The Holy Spirit became a real person and friend.  A spiritual life dawned.  Our yearly high school 2 day retreats provided the silence and guidance to let me know the Holy Spirit was inviting me to give my life to God.  Each night I knelt at my bedroom window steeped in the marvel of being in touch with God Keeping all this experience private and secret, I enjoyed high school activities and plenty of dating.  In the midst of all this enjoyment our parish priest seemed to sense my secret.  One day he said to me “Looks like you’re practicing up to be a Sister.”  (Oh, No!  I reacted interiorly — don’t say that out loud! — how could he say that out loud!???)  Eventually in private he showed me a brochure of the Springfield Dominicans.  Immediately I knew that was it!  Although I had never met these sisters, I knew that was where God was leading me.  Twenty-two days after high school graduation I entered Springfield Dominican life: July 1, 1950.  The Holy Spirit filled me with certainty and joy which have been my grace ever since.