Vocation Story by Sister Scholastica Elizabeth Ampadu, CSC
Sisters of the Holy Cross, Notre Dame, IN
In my early years, my family and teachers nurtured in me a love for God and the joy of being a Catholic. My mother, in particular, was devoted to Our Lady. I learned to pray the rosary from visits with her to Saint Mary’s Grotto in Obuoho, Ghana, a little distance from my home in Kumasi, and I developed other devotions to Mary.
I first contemplated the call to religious life in the seventh grade when I heard a diocesan priest talk about religious vocation. His talk touched the core of my being. Then and there, without fully understanding what it meant, I decided to be a sister. My eventual path to the Sisters of the Holy Cross was not my initial plan, but I found my way to where I was meant to be.
I applied and was accepted at St. Hubert Seminary, a senior high school, where only 5% of the student population was female. I was determined to excel. At the end of five years, I decided that I still wanted to be a sister because I felt like doing something special for God.
After graduation from St. Hubert, I entered another congregation. I still look back fondly on those years and am grateful to God for all the gifts he gave me. My time with them was a hallmark in my life, renewing the conviction that God needs me. When I was ministering as a nurse-midwife, I met the Brothers of the Holy Cross, who shared with me about the Sisters of the Holy Cross in Notre Dame, Indiana. Later, when I left my community, I thought more about the Holy Cross sisters.
Then I met Sister M. Jane Chantal (Method), CSC, who introduced me more fully to the Sisters of the Holy Cross. I liked that the sisters’ patroness was Our Lady and that the Holy Cross family had sisters, brothers, and priests. From then on, I started communicating with the sisters. I applied formally to the community and began the candidacy program. Three months later, I lost my father. The support from the community and the whole Congregation was enormous.
Being in the Holy Cross community has offered me the chance to teach children and minister to the sick. These have been grace-filled moments. The experiences my sisters share about their ministries make me feel connected to them and I am grateful. Our togetherness has intensified the unity that already binds us. Prayer and recreation times are moments of joy. Holy Cross has given me the opportunity to deepen my prayer life, reassess my relationship with God, and be hope-filled. God’s grace abounds.
The Sisters of the Holy Cross are women of courage and hope. Prayer is the center of our lives. With a strong belief in God’s divine providence, the Holy Cross sisters discern the needs of the present moment and commit themselves to meet those needs. For all the spiritual opportunities that this community has given me, I am deeply grateful.