Happy National Vocation Awareness Week !

Each day this week we will feature one of our sisters’ vocation stories. Feel free to contact us to learn more about Dominican life from any of the featured sisters, or just stop by.  We would love it if you would like to come and see what it is that makes the Springfield Dominicans a uniquely interdependent community of dedicated women serving God’s kingdom on Earth today.

“I’d been thinking about religious life since I was a teenager and many of my friends said they thought I would make a good sister.”

Sister Kelly Moline, OP

Sister Kelly Moline, OP

    After completing a bachelor’s degree in Gerontology at Missouri State University in 2005 I worked with older adults living in retirement communities in Missouri, and Connecticut before taking a position in Springfield, Illinois.  This was God’s “topsy turvy” journey leading me to the Springfield Dominicans.  I just kept bumping into sisters where I worked, where I attended mass and at a Cursillo retreat in Quincy, IL.  I’d been thinking about religious life since I was a teenager and many of my friends said they thought I would make a good sister.  After meeting sisters Loyola Miller, Concepta Joeger and the late Maxine Riker I knew I wanted to learn more about Dominican life and well, “Here I am”!  The joy and hospitality that I experienced in these three sisters; I found deep within each of the women I now call my sisters.  This spirit of Joy and hospitality continues to call me to love God and to serve the people of God each day.

“My life changed and I was being drawn to something more—more than just church tasks.”

Sister Denise Glazik, OP

Sister Denise Glazik, OP

     My name is Sr. Denise Glazik, OP.  I grew up on a farm in rural Illinois.  I am the youngest of 14 children.  My mother stayed home to care for the house and children.  My dad was a farmer and owned and operated a meat-packing company.  Our family gathered around the table for meals and shared about our day.  We often prayed the rosary together after the meal.  We also played cards and games together. We created our own fun on the farm.  We gathered with neighbors and relatives for all kinds of occasions.

     I graduated from high school in 1983, continued working in our family businesses and dating the love of my life, enjoying my own home, car, “the American Dream” life—e visioning my future as a wife and mother, just like my own mother.

    During the Lenten journey (1986) I chose to add to rather than give up something for Lent.  I began attending Mass during the weekday, rather than just on Sunday.  I chose to get involved in the parish activities: lecturing, becoming a Eucharistic Minister, Adult Formation, etc.  My life changed and I was being drawn to something more—more than just church tasks.  I was asked the question, “Where could I best love? In a married relationship or in religious life?”  I answered myself strangely, “I would be a good wife and mother.” My reply, “If you’d be a good wife and mother, you’d be a good religious sister, come and see.” 

    Valentine’s Weekend, CJ (the love of my life) and I celebrated the end of our story at Red Lobster and he bid me well. In August, 1988 I joined the Springfield Dominicans. 

     Interestingly enough, we gather for meals, we pray together, we play together, we create our own fun.  We challenge one another and we support one another.  I realize I have “come home again.”   It continues to be a wonderful life.

“My life has been so blessed by all those I have met along this path.”

Sister Mary Paulita Philippe, OP

Sister Mary Paulita Philippe, OP

    On my own initiative I could never have made two big steps in my life. The first step was to hear the call to become a Catholic at the end of my senior year in high school. The other was to enter the Dominican Sisters Community in Springfield, IL two years later! The Holy Spirit was working overtime on me!

    My family was a loving community of four children and attentive, outgoing parents. We were, however, “unchurched.” You could say that God had us, but the Church did not. As Providence would have it, some of my relatives and most of my friends were Catholic. Slowly but excitedly I was drawn to the waters of Baptism. Then, some wonderful Dominican Sisters entered my life. They came to our parish each Saturday from Granite City, IL to teach Religion to the children who belonged to Sacred Heart Parish. They taught me so much by their lives of joyful faithfulness, that I, too, was attracted to their way of life.

    Now after 54 years as a Dominican Sister, I can see that the journey got better and better as I sought to follow God’s call. The One who called me can never be outdone in generosity. My life has been so blessed by all those I have met along this path. There is always the desire in me to have other women walk this journey, too.

“I heard a loud, clear voice saying, ‘Remember your promise.’”

Sister M. Stephanie Kapusta, OP

Sister M. Stephanie Kapusta, OP

    I, Sister Mary Stephanie, was born in Benld, Illinois, and am the youngest of four children born to Peter and Magdalene Kapusta. My oldest sister, Florence, who became Sister M. Bernardine, entered the Springfield Dominicans shortly after I graduated from the eighth grade. I attended the elementary grades and high school in Benld public schools as we had no Catholic schools. My religious instruction was obtained from the pastor who conducted classes after school once a week. There were no classes for high school students at that time. In the summer the Dominican Sisters would travel from Springfield to Benld via the interurban train to teach catechism for a month in preparation for receiving the sacraments. We always looked forward to the coming of the Sisters as they kept us involved in art projects in addition to our religious instruction. Also, their classes were fun and interesting. My parents played a large role in my religious upbringing by word and example.

    When I was in the sixth grade, I was very ill with a pounding and racing heart. All at once my heart seemed to stop, and I found myself gasping for breath. I thought I was going to die. I didn’t tell my parents as I didn’t want to worry them. Instead I promised Jesus that if I lived I would become a Sister. Shortly after this my condition returned to normal. I didn’t think very often about my promise but kept it in the back of my mind. After my graduation from high school, I worked in a secretarial capacity at St. John’s Hospital School of Nursing for about two years. One day while I was alone on the ninth floor of the hospital running off tests for the nurses, I heard a loud, clear voice saying, “Remember your promise.” I recall being startled and frightened. Shortly after this I made my decision to enter the convent. As soon as I did, I was enveloped in a deep peace and really felt myself surrounded with God’s presence. Since I had a sister who was a Springfield Dominican, I decided that would be the congregation for me. I have never regretted my decision
and thank God for the opportunity I have had for so many years to serve Him and His children.

“God took a very imperfect motive and turned it into what God wanted: me to follow him as a Dominican Sister.”

Sister Helen Becker, OP

Sister Helen Becker, OP

    I grew up on a farm and because we lived so far from town, I attended a one-room country school.  There was no basement so an underground cellar about 15 feet from the school provided shelter during storms.  The only source of light was a single tile in the ceiling of this below-ground cave.

    One day, when I was about 8 or 9 years old, we were playing in the schoolyard. A thought ran through my head, “I’m going to be a teacher when I grow up, but I would be afraid to be the only teacher responsible for the students during a storm.  I’ll become a Sister, because they have lots of Sisters in the same school.”  I was aware that the Catholic school in town had at least 8 Sisters living together and teaching in the same building.

    That was, I believe, my first call to be a Sister.

    God took a very imperfect motive and turned it into what God wanted: me to follow him as a Dominican Sister.

Flood of Light

The rains have come

The “run-off gathers in the Might Miss

Waters at flood level challenge the strength of levies and dams.

Should the levies be blasted – flooding farmland but saving the cities?

Farther down the Old Miss – is it time to open the dams and relieve the pressure?

Engineers strive to contain the water.

My soul is flooded with light-

                But God’s light is not “run-off.”

It’s intentional gift.

Why should this light be contained in the soul?  Can it be?

We are poor engineers;

We don’t know there’s light

                “bursting our souls at the seams.”

The light has already spilled over,

Filling our bodies with radiance.

It’s hard to be grumpy and grouchy

When we’re one with the Liight of the World.

Let the radiance shine forth

On faces, in voices, through song and praise.

We are the Light of the World!

Discovering the inner radiance is my task in life.

I have a job but where do I begin?

No need to search the universe,

Not even this country, or this community-

Though all will be affected

By this discovery.

Instead close the eyes, look within,

See the light and delight in it.

The light goes with me

For it is the light of God!

May 14, 2011

Inspired by a quote from We Walk the Path Together by Brian Pierce, OP, page 55

    Says the mesiter [Eckhart], “God streams into the soul in such abundance of light, so flooding the essence and ground…of the soul [that it] wells over into the body, which is filled with radiance.”  The discovery of this inner radiance that saturates our very being is the one important task in life, according to Eckhart, who, like a Zen master, calls out to us, “Awaken! Discover who you are! Close your eyes and see the radiant light within you.”

“My vocation story begins in fourth grade. Our parish priest was visiting our classroom and he asked who wanted to become a priest. I raised my hand…”

Sister Linda Hayes, OP

Sister Linda Hayes, OP

    My vocation story begins in fourth grade. Our parish priest was visiting our classroom and he asked who wanted to become a priest. I raised my hand, and he laughed and told me I needed to think about being a sister. I thought no more about it until high school. The summer between my junior and senior year I worked with one of the sisters in our school library. She asked what I was going to do after high school and I told her probably go into accounting, but I wasn’t sure. She then gave me a rosary that someone had given her when she was my age, and encouraged me to pray the rosary every night, asking Mary to help me know what God wanted of me. It was during one of those nightly rosaries that I realized God was calling me to religious life.

Ah, that #FridayFeeling, it's almost the weekend!

Each day this week we featured one of our sisters' #vocation stories for #NationalVocationAwarenessWeek #NVAW. (November 5-11.) Check it out here: https://t.co/62FmRUkcQN pic.twitter.com/GUVIZcpRve

— Springfield OP (@springfieldop) November 10, 2017