Sister Mary of St. Joseph OCD

An appeal from our website expert and a feeling for her almost empty hands has sat me down to expand my story of eventually coming to Carmel here in Auckland.

At age two months, I left my Birth Country of Guyana, South America, with my Mother and brother and sister. Dad was working for the government during the war in Trinidad, West Indies. We ended up in the small town of Point Fortin where my father was engineer for Shell Oil. Three more children were added to the family. We lived near the ocean, and on Sundays we all went for rides in the 'pick-up' through the forests and to other beaches. We got to know the homes and families we passed.

My first opening of mind came at about two years of age. I was toddling around and suddenly stopped to look in wonder. I saw my father and mother, brother and sister, kneeling in a corner of the dining room before a picture on the wall. I 'knew' somehow that it was a very good thing they were doing and that they were saying something to someone who wasn't seen. My impression was: "Doesn't that look nice". About a year later, I was suddenly aware of myself for the first time. I was playing on the see-saw, and I said, "here am I climbing up a pole".

We always went to Mass on Sundays. The Irish missionary priest, Father McNamara, was very shy but very capable of gathering the people and keeping them together. It was after my First Holy Communion, following my First Confession, that I really had a spurt on to be good. I wanted to do it for God. At age nine, I went back to Georgetown, Guyana, for boarding school, where one of my Aunts was the Ursuline Superior.One day without having desired or thought of it before that moment, I said to another Aunt, "Auntie, when I grow up I am going to be a Sister". Three times in My life I have come out with a prediction of my future, not having thought of it before saying it.

The following year, Mary my sister and I went to the Ursuline Boarding School in Barbadoes. I learnt to love the silences and the ordered life. I knew the centre of the life there was Our Lord's Presence in the Tabernacle.

When I was eleven, we moved to Ontario, Canada, and for years all of us suffered much from the winter cold. My high school years, were in a way, shy and very sensitive to others - even if I joined the drama club, loved sports and public speaking. But I made no real friends. I often fell back onto my own thoughts. Our Church was near the School and I would pass it on the way there and make a visit to Our Lord. I learnt to reach out to Him from outside the Church on the street, knowing He was Real and that He knew everything about everyone. I would pray in the morning and evening of each day, and the rosary with the family. I would think about problems in the world and relate them to God.

We moved to North Quebec when I was fifteen and I made some wonderful friends there. Then for the two years following, we were in St. Jean's, near Montreal, and I worked as typist for the Military. Again it was a rather solitary time. At age 19 I went back to last year of High School in St. Catherine's, near Niagara Falls. Again I got into a fine group of young people. I came out of my shell completely. Moving to Auckland, New Zealand, the following year, I went into Nursing Training and then into the Catholic Youth Apostolate. A mighty grace during Night duty at the Hospital turned my life completely around, I began going to daily Mass and doing spiritual reading. Thoughts developed, and also a great desire for God. He manifested His Will to me to enter Carmel, and it took me two years of getting used to the idea and of discerning if it was really God's Will. I loved the life "behind the walls" - even if I had weak health and there were the inevitable trials everyone has, in one way or another. I knew that my 'work' in the Church and for others was from "within", in my line to God. This is through faith, and in trust and love, and in offering myself in the things we did.

It has been a gradual progressive journey in every way. It means learning over and over again, so that truths and knowing God our Lord, becomes more and more simplified and part of me. There is a response from Heaven in the lives of others, and our own, for every prayer and act of goodness, or sacrifice, we make. This is a power over the Heart of God that is going on all the time, all over the place. We will be very surprised, at the last day, when we see revealed the true benefactors of the world - the poor, the forgotten, the ignored, the despised, the little ones - those who trusted in their God.
Sister Mary of St. Joseph OCD
April 23rd, 2004

What is Life all about?

In essence, it is meant to be a relationship between each of us and the One who breathed Life into us. There is natural life and the Life of God in our souls through baptism.
The Mystery of Existence is God-who is the Fullness of Being and He is the “One-and-Three” who unites all of us Together. So every other person is also meant to be part of our relationship of Love with God.
That is behind our calling in Life – whatever it may be. The Lord has a Plan for everyone. Our peace is in finding and following it. He will give indications, or sign-posts, to show us how to proceed.
I have always had an absolute conviction that I am walking God’s Plan for me in this little corner of the world. It is meant to form us to become rivers of grace by God’s doing that pour out to others.
Prayer by a humble heart that holds on in dark faith and trust, is a great power. It spreads to the ends of the world. So does every difficulty that is lived and empowered by Trust in God’s Divine Goodness. He will not let us down.
Carmel or other Orders, the Priesthood, genuine marriage, the single choice and so on are specialized lives. In order to specialize we have to give up things and take on others. Part of life is to make Life-choices without them we will miss out. The choice to believe in Christ Jesus who is God is a life-choice. The choice to belong to His Church founded on Peter is a life-choice.
I have found the road so much easier by taking Our Mother Mary as my constant way to Jesus Lord. She is the opening to Christ. Try her and Trust her.




Carmel means for me

  • a space for freedom, that ease
  • in reaching the Mystery of God
  • held and given us
  • in Himself as "The Man".
  • It, also, by entering this Presence,
  • means I unite with Him in the
  • saving of others - through His Sacrifice.

Sr. Mary of St. Joseph