Vocation Story by Sister Charlene Favreau, CSJ
The Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston
The earliest time I remember being called to religious life came to me in the form of a graduation prophesy. It read, “the future Sister”. What did my eighth-grade classmates see in me that I did not see? After all, I thought to myself, didn’t they know I was an all-star softball player, who played in the pre-game that starred the famous softball King? A prophecy about a future athlete would have suited me better.
Years passed and I really didn’t dwell on their prediction. I loved every minute of my high school days, my social calendar was chuck full and my participation in softball, basketball and tennis brought new friendships. I joined, too, with others on committees that fostered outreach to the elderly and other causes that were part of our city.
College life for me was exciting: football games, dating and working for the Park Department. I enjoyed teaching sports and engaging with the youth of our city. I also found a new passion in participating in the college drama club. I experienced this to be very satisfying. It appeared I had all my ducks in a row.
At the end of my freshman year of college, I felt a new restlessness and a desire to seek a deeper relationship with God. This restlessness, however, came with doubts of faith and many questions. The words of Francis Thompson’s poem “The Hound of Heaven” fit. What followed this restless time was my entrance into the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Boston. What a ride!
I found myself in good company with other discerners and with the Sisters. Opportunities to grow and deepen my relationship with God have been and continue to be fostered in community life. Together we support each other in our mission to “serve the dear neighbor without distinction”. Where one member serves, we all share in that holy work.
One of my first-grade students asked me, “How do you turn into a sister”? I responded by saying, “You ask God to guide you. You listen and then follow what you hear in your heart”. She tugged at my elbow and whispered in my ear, “I’m starting to turn”.
This young girl is now in grade eight and constantly reminds me she is still turning. Quite frankly, after many years, I am still turning, for we must always strive to open our hearts to God and to those we call the dear neighbor.
And so I ask, “Are you still turning, too”?