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"I felt this nudging to pursue religious life" . . . Sister Elaine Weinstein

My name is Elaine Weinstein. Today, I'm 55 years alive and because it's my birthday, I thought it was an appropriate day to do some reflection on my life, specifically, my religious life. For 26 of those 55 years I have had the privilege, the joy and the challenge of being a member of the community of the School Sisters of Notre Dame.

It has really been a faith journey, that is a

    F antastic
    A adventure
    I n
    T rusting
    H im

However, I don't want to get ahead of myself here.

I was born in Guelph into a middle class family. I have an older sister and a younger brother. I never felt that we were a particularly religious family. Nevertheless, as I think back now, we all really lived our life out of our Christian Catholic beliefs.

I remember especially how my Mom and I would go to Mother of Perpetual Help devotions on Sunday evening and how I enjoyed that.

I remember too how each Friday in Lent, our school classes would go over to Church for the Stations of the Cross and also daily Mass attendance in Lent was a must. I remember singing to myself on the way home from Mass and feeling so good about having the Lord within.

I was always a very extroverted person and thoroughly enjoyed life. All the fun times and experiences of high school life were great. I had a couple of good friends in high school that went into religious life following graduation and I too gave it extra thought at the time. I consulted a priest friend who said to me "Go out and work and learn about life and if the Lord wants you, He'll get you".

For the next 12 years I traveled, dated, was engaged, changed careers from secretary to registered nurse. I seemed to be on this restless search of pursuing my own happiness. However, nothing I tried seemed to be working. Constantly, I felt this nudging to pursue religious life.

Finally, with my life seemingly going downhill, I surrendered to my Lord and felt a deep peace that has never left me.

I wasn't sure upon entering religious life which congregation to join since I had been educated by the Loretto Sisters and trained in nursing with the St. Joseph Sisters. For some reason (and I can only attribute that to the Holy Spirit) I felt compelled to enter the School Sisters of Notre Dame. And it has made all the difference.

I have had a variety of experiences from nursing to being a missionary in South America to my present day ministry in parish work - all have been challenging and fulfilling. I don't know what the future holds but I know who holds the future and I thank God every day for choosing me for Himself.

Sister Elaine Weinstein is currently in Pastoral Ministry, in Kitchener, Ontario.

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