My Vocation Story
Sister Therese Maria, MSCL
I was born and raised as a Maronite Catholic in Sydney, Australia. In high school, I remember asking life’s big questions, seeking answers to what was the point of my existence. We get up, eat, go to school or work, eat, sleep, and the cycle goes on. Deep down I was yearning to understand my purpose and mission in life, and to find a deeper fulfillment in who I was.
I started to attend weekly bible studies at my local Maronite parish hoping to find some answers. At home, I started to read the Gospels to discover more about the mysterious person of Jesus and his teachings. I found Christ’s Word to be nourishing and also challenging; I discovered I had to change to become more like Jesus, who was humble, compassionate, and forgiving. I started to put my faith into action and get more involved in my youth group and parish.
In college, my thirst to learn more about my faith grew and in my free time I began to read the lives of the saints. St. Therese the Little Flower captivated me in her book the “Story of the Soul.” She inspired me in my spirituality of simplicity, trust and child-like confidence in God’s boundless love.
At the age of 20, a significant event led me to realize my desire to be “all for Jesus”. I attended the 2005 ADORE Eucharistic Conference in Sydney. I recall coming home from the retreat crying tears of joy. In adoration, I had experienced intimately God’s awesome and personal love for me. I was overwhelmed with gratitude to God for his unconditional love and goodness in my life. My mom thought something was wrong as I cried before her. This was the first time I shared with her my desire of becoming a religious sister and loving Jesus totally by giving Him back the gift of my life. At first, my mom did not understand or support this desire of mine as she wanted me to pursue my accounting career, get married and provide the many grandchildren…
After completing my business degree, I was offered an excellent work opportunity and position in commercial accounting. Six months into this job I handed in my resignation; I was dissatisfied in such a competitive, empty and materialistic career. There was an ache in my heart for more. I made the decision to go to Lebanon to discern my vocation with the Missionary Sisters of Saint Therese the Little Flower. I lived with the sisters, observing their way of life for five months. My experience with the sisters gave me a greater love and appreciation for the Maronite Liturgy, spirituality and helped me to get in touch with my passion of teaching the faith. However, I did not feel like this was home or where God was calling me to serve as a sister, so I returned to Australia in 2006 with an openness to seeking God’s will.
I continued to discern my vocation through prayer, ongoing faith formation and spiritual direction. I studied Secondary Education while working for the Church. In 2008, through a friend I was directed to a website of a new community, the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light. I visited the website and found myself instantly drawn to the charism. I saw the Maronite Servants to be a much needed and vital mission in our Maronite Church. The mission of the Maronite Servants’ is a radical and beautiful call to service as spiritual mothers working alongside our priests. As consecrated women, we pray for, sacrifice, and lead our people to Christ the Light, the true joy and treasure of our lives!
After discerning with Mother Marla Marie on my “Come and See,” I entered the Mother of the Light Convent as a postulant in 2010. I took my first vows of obedience, chastity and poverty in 2012 and my final vows in 2017. I currently serve as the Director for Youth & Young Adults in our Eparchy of Saint Maron. “Being all for Jesus” as his spouse has expanded and fulfilled my heart and mission as a Maronite Servant of Christ the Light. His Love is more than enough!