By S. Paula Gonzalez, interviewed by Megan Moore, Communications intern
S. Paula Gonzalez
I didn’t realize I was to be a religious Sister until I was a senior in college. I had just finished high school at St. Vincent Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I received a scholarship to the College of Mount St. Joseph (now Mount St. Joseph University) in Cincinnati, Ohio, which was great because my parents could never have afforded to send me to college.
The college had a “Girls Retreat.” It was a three-day silent retreat. I didn’t realize at the time that I had already had a very developed spiritual life. I thought that everyone just chatted with Jesus. So this spiritual experience was not something new to me.
The first day of the retreat I went in and I said to Jesus that morning, “You know, by the end of these three days, we need to know what I ought to be doing next year.” The third day a talk was given in the chapel and I stayed behind. I was in the middle aisle, almost in the back. I said, “It’s the third day and we still don’t know what I need to do.” Without thinking, it was just totally clear to me that I was to become a Sister.
God either wills or permits everything that happens so I never questioned it or second guessed it. I just took it for what it was.
I’ve been in the Community now for 62 years and it has been a marvelous life for me. It was exactly where I belonged considering my particular make up and my personality. It has always been the right place for me to be.
We hope that this can begin a new series; an opportunity for you, Sisters and Associates, to share your call story, in brief form. To do so, submit your candid thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!