By Emilie Ng
YOUNG religious sister Bernadette Toohey found her calling with the Missionaries of God’s Love after being asked to describe married life.
In a conversation with Jamberoo Benedictine Sister Hilda Scott, Sr Toohey was asked to talk about what life would be like if she were married.
The newly professed sister said the question “stumped” her, but when the Jamberoo religious posed a question about religious life, the response was more forthcoming.
“I couldn’t stop talking about what I would do if I were a religious sister,” Sr Toohey said.
She entered the MGL’s novitiate in 2013 and made her initial vows in February.
She shared her vocation story at a recent Vocation Brisbane event attended by Brisbane youth, and men and women from 10 religious orders.
Vocation Brisbane officer Adam Burns said Hearing God’s Call helped the religious men and women become better connected with young people and reinvigorate their own calling to religious life.
“The event was about gathering together religious men and women – sisters, nuns, brothers, priests – as well as young people from around the archdiocese, to create a space for conversation to happen,” Mr Burns said.
“We wanted religious men and women to be able to share their vocation journeys and for the young people to engage in their journeys and begin to engage in their own discernment process.”
Pope Francis dedicated 2015 for the Year of Consecrated Life, and asked the sisters, brothers and priests to “wake up the world”.
Vocations Brisbane director Fr Morgan Batt said the year’s theme was “not just about the religious waking up the world”.
“It’s the world waking up to religious being here,” Fr Batt said.
“Religious are still very much a part of our world, a part of our Church, and a part of our heritage both now and in the future.
“The religious are not gone, but it’s a waking up the world to their presence and their active charisms that they do have.”