Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the summer issue of Nazareth Connections. The version below includes the most recent updates.
With God’s blessings, in mid-September, our province will embrace the future with hope and new life as four affiliates and three sisters move into our new House of Discernment at St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Richardson, TX.
The long process for this initiative began three years earlier when our vocation team first submitted a proposal to the provincial council to establish a House of Discernment for women discerning religious life. From March 2016 through April 2018, Sr. Emmanuela Le, CSFN, national vocation director, visited many possible sites for the new house, scheduled meetings with pastors and diocesan representatives, and explored creative opportunities to solicit donations to support this endeavor.
Then, in May 2018, she met with Fr. John Szatkowski, pastor of St. Paul the Apostle Church in Richardson, TX. The parish had a vacant convent formerly used by sisters who ministered in the parish. Fr. John, who had served as the vocation director for the Diocese of Dallas and was on the formation faculty at Holy Trinity Seminary, was excited for the opportunity to foster vocations as a pastor.
“While the time line of three years may seem long,” said Sr. Kathleen Maciej, CSFN, provincial superior, “the delays and obstacles are nothing short of God’s Divine intervention and blessings on this home directing us to a new venture.”
Bishop Edward Burns gave support for this new endeavor, noting this would be the first house of discernment in the Diocese of Dallas. The Congregation’s General Administration also approved the venture.
Thanks to the generosity of St. Paul the Apostle parishioners and grants received by the pastor, all plumbing and electricity has been replaced in the old convent. Additionally, furniture was purchase and a new kitchen was installed. This past week, with the help of parish staff and Fr. John, we began the process of moving in and setting up the house for our sisters and affiliates.
Please join with us in praying for this initiative to engage and support the women who are discerning God’s call for their life at our new House of Discernment.
If you or someone you know is exploring God’s call to religious life as a Catholic sister, contact our national vocation director, Sr. Emmauela Le at 972-641-4496 x111 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Come & See Days and Discernment Weekends are held throughout the year.