My name is Sister Marie Faustina. I was raised in a loving family of seven from a small town in Michigan. My family and community were instrumental in witnessing to the beauty and truth of Catholicism. Through their example, love, and support I could say “yes” to God’s invitation.

The earliest memory I have of the Lord calling me was when I was around eight years old and had gone on a bike ride. I stopped at my school playground and began to pray on a bench about my future. I clearly felt a calling in my heart to become a sister. The thought was unexpecting and surprising, so I jumped on my bike and rode home. I forgot about this incident until I entered religious life.

In God’s Providence, around that time, I received my first Holy Communion on April 30, 2000- the day Saint John Paul II canonized Saint Faustina, my future patroness, and instituted Divine Mercy Sunday my future feast day.

Over the years I learned more about Catholicism, but it wasn’t until the preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation that I really encountered the great gift and love of Our Lord. I truly owe the graces of this sacrament to the strength and commitment I had for my faith during my high school and beginning college years. During this time my friends and I would attend different retreats and young evangelization groups. Every opportunity led me to a deeper conviction of God’s unfathomable love and mercy.

As a sophomore at Michigan State University, I was invited by a Catholic organization to attend a mission trip to Mexico City. The trip was life changing. I had the opportunity to be of service in a way I had never experienced before. It restored my heart and led me to encounter the love of the Lord through those whom I served.

Upon returning from the trip I knew the Lord was inviting me to draw closer to Him, especially through daily attendance of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The first day I committed to going to Mass more frequently, the readings were from the Book of Samuel, when God calls Samuel and Samuel responds: “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” These words became my own. I desired to encounter Jesus through the silence of a hopeful and open heart. Days later, upon receiving Jesus in the Presence of the Blessed Sacrament and whispering the prayer, I knew once again that God was calling me to religious life.

It was also at Mass that I met the Religious Sisters of Mercy. Two of our Sisters were attending Michigan State University and had invited me to join them for breakfast. Their friendship and prayers were an answer to my prayer. The Sisters encouraged me to attend a vocation retreat weekend at our Motherhouse in Alma, Michigan. I attended the retreat and it was a weekend of grace! By the end of the retreat, I knew that the Lord had led me to exactly where He wanted me to be.

Since my entrance in 2012, I am even more amazed by God’s untiring love and grace. The Lord continues to lead me on a journey of grace, blessing me with a gift of life in abundance.