In this Random Nun Clip, we talk about everyday life with God. Hear the full Ask Sister episode AS208 at aNunsLife.org.
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L: Sister Angela Szczawinska is a native of Poland. She entered the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth (CSFN) in 1989. Sister Angela ministered for 17 years in the classroom, first as a Religious Ed teacher and then as an English teacher at Nazareth Academy, an all-girls high school sponsored by her community in Warsaw, Poland. Eight years ago, she transferred to the U.S. Province of the Congregation, where she manages the povince's online media and provides tech support for the Sisters.
R: Sister Maria Brizuela grew up in Manila, Philippines. She immigrated to the United States in 1990 and lived and worked in California for several years. She later entered the Sisters of St. Francis of the Sacred Heart (OSF), in Frankfort, Illinois. She has ministered in health care, as concierge in a hospital emergency room. Since 2012, Sister Maria has served in vocation ministry for her congregation.
SISTER MAXINE: I'm Sister Maxine and with me today are two amazing sisters, both currently living in the Chicago area, originally by way of Poland and the Philippines. Welcome, Sister Angela Szczawinska, and welcome, Sister Maria Brizuela. Sisters, what it is that makes you say “yes” every day to the vocation of religious life?
SISTER ANGELA SZCZAWINSKA: The smell of coffee. (laughter)
SISTER MAXINE: Convents have good coffee! (laughter)
SISTER ANGELA SZCZAWINSKA: But kidding aside … I think if you know that you made a good decision in life and you’re happy with it, if this is the place that you love, and if you are surrounded with people that are your family, that you care for, then you cannot be unhappy. I mean, it’s your life, it’s your vocation, it’s who you are. I always joke about before I became a sister, I didn’t really want to be a sister. So for me, when something happens (like that) and it's not easy to deal with, or when people around you aren't always how you'd like them to be, sometimes I tell God, “Okay, you just fix it, because I didn’t want to be here in the first place. So now you have to fix my problems. You want to keep me here? Make it work.(laughter)
SISTER MAXINE: So put it back on God. (laughter)
SISTER ANGELA SZCZAWINSKA: Yes, right, you fix it, God. (laughter)
SISTER MAXINE: That seems to have worked out?
SISTER ANGELA SZCZAWINSKA: Yes, it's been working well for me and God. (laughter)
SISTER MARIA BRIZUELA: Pass the buck on to God? Wow. (laughter) With me, like you said, religious life is a life There’s no life choice where you can say, “That’s it for me--I’m done.”For me, every single day is a new beginning. When I embraced this life, when I finally made a commitment to say “yes” to this life, I did not commit to say, 25 years from now. Whatever the challenge is on a particular day, if I don't think I could live with it for another year, it gets magnified if it’s like 25 more. But if I look at it one day at a time …
SISTER ANGELA SZCZAWINSKA: That’s right.
SISTER MARIA BRIZUELA: It makes it a lot easier to deal with, so there’s a renewed enthusiasm in a way, even though I’m not a morning person but .... (laughter)
SISTER MAXINE: See, if you drank more coffee .… (laughter)
SISTER MARIA BRIZUELA: Yes! (laughter)
Hear the full episode of this podcast at AS208.
To hear full episodes of A Nun’s Life podcasts, visit the podcast page at anunslife.org/podcast.