Faith in God as closely tied to friendship with Him was a central discovery in the discernment of my religious vocation. Growing up in a family that went to Sunday Mass, where we siblings were educated in Catholic schools gradually allowed for a heart open to hear the call of Christ to be His spouse.

I was born in a metropolitan city of India, Mumbai, but grew up in another city, steeped in traditional culture, and where it was commonplace to see camels and buffaloes sitting just outside oneís front door. Although Catholics were a minority of the countryís religion, the Jesuit priests and Carmelite Sisters were filled with zeal to promote a Catholic education, especially after many religious had suffered to bring the faith to India. Inspired by the Jesuit Fathers who had taught him, my father had discerned the Jesuit vocation, but after a few years of discernment felt called to the married life. He was always grateful for his few years of seminary formation and sought to instill in our family a stable prayer life.

In my childhood, I remember an occasion that first seemed to draw me to friendship with Christ. In the summer months, our family used to visit a Church, St. Peterís Church, which had a larger than life statue of the Sacred Heart with the word, ďCOME,Ē in bold enlarged letters under it. In faith, I knew that Jesus was inviting me, but I did not know where? Looking back to this instance, it seemed that Jesusí word, ďCome,Ē to St. Peter on the turbulent waters similarly inspired in me a desire to come to Him.

After my family immigrated to Canada, I began my University studies. During my time at University in the field of Occupational Therapy (O.T.), a desire to bring Godís love to the suffering, i.e. those in spiritual darkness, grew in my heart. However, I was not clear on how to fulfill this desire. It was a trip to Quebec for a Eucharistic Congress that began to ground me in a religious vocation. On this trip, a friend asked me what I would do with my life. Tired of discerning, I answered that I would be an O.T., which would allow me to do Godís work better than if I was in a religious habit!

When our group reached the Eucharistic Congress, a number of people started to speak of the Religious Sisters of Mercy at the Congress and that they were at the Congress as well. I had hoped not to be persuaded off my reasoning process and was glad when the Congress ended and I had not caught sight of the Sisters. However, as we started to leave Quebec City, our carís gas light indicator came on, directing us to go to the nearest gas station. Most surprisingly, at this same gas station was a bus full of Religious Sisters of Mercy about to leave and return to the Motherhouse. This incident was a jolt to my reasoning process and helped me realize that discernment is a two-way process, where the heart must be open to listening to the Lord.

At the encouragement of my vocation director, I visited the Motherhouse of the Religious Sisters of Mercy. On the short weekend I was there, I asked the Sisters many questions about religious life. Finally, I asked a Sister what the cross they wore signified. The Sister said to me, in her words, that it represented Godís light in the dark places of the world! I realized at that moment that the Lord knew that this was the desire of my heart and that He wished to fulfill it in a religious vocation with the Religious Sisters of Mercy.

I entered the Religious Sisters of Mercy in 2010 and seek to profess Final Vows next year, 2018. Faith in the Lord because of His unweared love was the priceless pearl given by Him so that I may joyfully come to Him through the profession of obedience, poverty, chastity, and service.