'I felt like I belonged'

When the middle schoolers at St. Francis International in Silver Spring, Md., visited the Oblate Sisters of Providence at nearby Mount Providence Convent as part of National Catholic Sisters Week, their eyes and hearts were opened.

“I felt like I belonged here,” one student told the video team from America magazine.

“I would actually like to become a nun too,” another said. “I really want to dedicate my life to Jesus. I want to learn more about him – and see how a nun’s life actually is.”

Their impressions of the visit, along with a glimpse of the meal and Mass they celebrated together plus a brief history on the nation’s oldest African American order, made a compelling three-and-a-half video produced by Colleen Dulle and Jose Dueno, S.J. It has already been viewed on YouTube more than 600 times.

“We are very pleased with the media coverage of our NCSW2018 vocation event,” said Sister Marcia Hall, OSP, vocation director. She helped coordinate a fun fact-sharing event with the students and a panel that fielded their questions.

In many ways, the March 14 gathering marked a beginning, the planting of seeds that could bear fruits for many years to come.

“The girls got an idea of what a religious woman is committed to in this day and time,” Sister Rita Michelle, OSP, said.

“They got a sense of us as humans, not just sisters,” Sister Marcia added.

NCSW enjoyed record reach this year, bolstered by a concerted effort to engage minority groups, including Latina teens throughout Texas

About Christina Capecchi

Christina Capecchi is an award-winning journalist from Inver Grove Heights, Minn. She is the author of the nationally syndicated column “Twenty Something,” which appears in more than 50 Catholic newspapers across the country. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, America, The Chicago Tribune, The Star Tribune and The Pioneer Press. She also provides contracted editing and writing services. She holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a bachelor’s from Mount Mercy University.