Two young aspirants made the transition into postulancy on Jan 11, 2017 at St. Alphonsus Parish in Seattle, WA. Amanda Ross and Lauren Adderly were welcomed into this new step in their religious discernment at a Mass celebrated by Fr. Shane McKee. Sister Mary Aloyisius Kim, Postulant Servant, was there to receive them into their postulancy.
Each of the new postulants shared their journey that has led them to discern a vocation to SOLT.
I grew up in southern New Jersey, close to Philadelphia. I don’t have siblings, but my grandparents, cousins, and stepfamily were always nearby and my family never felt small. Church always felt like home, but my faith didn’t become real to me until I attended a Catholic high school. In high school, I started thinking that Jesus might be asking me to be a sister. For college, I went to Villanova University on a scholarship to study Biology and Theology. I loved the natural world, I wanted to travel, I was curious about my faith, but I had mostly tucked away the thought of being a sister.
The summer after my sophomore year, though, I went to the SOLT mission in Belcourt, North Dakota to serve at a summer camp for kids on the Turtle Mountain reservation. My experiences of prayer, service, and friendships there brought me alive in a way that I had never experienced before. I went back to serve at summer camp for two more summers after that first one. There was a growing sense in my heart that Jesus was asking me to be “all His” as a missionary and as a sister.
After graduating college in 2012 and volunteering in Houston for a year at a women’s shelter and at a farm, I moved back home to New Jersey and worked full-time as a middle school religion teacher. In the years that I spent teaching the most fantastic kids about Jesus and His Church, Jesus was gently teaching me to fall in love with Him and with His people. I started aspirancy with the SOLT sisters on September 8, 2016 back in North Dakota, and I arrived in Seattle on January 8, 2017 to begin postulancy. I can’t wait to see what adventures God has in store for me next!
I first felt called to be a missionary when I was about 8 years old in my Lutheran grade school, after having watched a documentary on missionaries in Africa. My actual call to the religious life, however, came to me after I became Catholic at age 16. I was so happy and grateful to be Catholic and to be able to receive the Sacraments of the Catholic Church. As a consequence, I asked our Lady in prayer: “What can I give back to God for all that He has given to me?” Surprisingly, I heard our Lady’s voice who responded instantaneously: “Become a Sister.” This is how my search for a religious vocation all started.
I heard about SOLT through the mother of Father Scott Braathan, SOLT, who goes to the same Parish as my sister, Linda Davis, in Detroit, Michigan. This was a little over 2 years ago. What has attracted me most about SOLT is their strong Marian spirit; their contemplative, missionary life; and their working together in ecclesial teams.
We welcome these young women as they continue to discern their God’s call for them in their lives.