Our New Postulants...

 


Rachel Daly (NY), Stephanie Beach (NJ), Klara Folse (VA), and Brittany Allen (AZ) became Postulants on February 1, 2015.

Stephanie Beach

May the Lord give you His peace! I am originally from Flemington, NJ. I had the joy of entering the CFR community this past Fall 2014 and marvel at the ways the Lord has so patiently guided me here. I grew up learning about the faith in my family, my parish, as well as through a community of sisters I grew to love. Though I always loved learning about the Lord, the faith did not become personal for me until I was eighteen. I participated in youth group in high school and was able to go on a few service trips to inner cities and it was through these experiences that not only did I discover my love of service and the poor, but I first met the CFR community. It was this experience when I was sixteen that was emblazoned upon my heart - the poverty and humility of the CFR Friars resonated in me and remained implanted there permanently. After a personally challenging senior year of high school, I felt a deeper desire to know who the Lord was and to delve into my faith. I felt called to remain at home at least for a year and go to community college. The Lord saw my openness and my searching and rushed in! He provided a graced moment for me - at that point I knew that my life was for the Lord and that my life would only make sense in serving Him. It was also at this time the thought of religious life entered my mind. A year later, I transferred to Franciscan University of Steubenville where my faith and love for the Lord continued to grow. After graduating college, I met a young man with whom I connected immediately. As our relationship grew, I thought marriage was the Lord's will for me. As time had passed however, I felt a persistent knocking on my heart and my reslessness grew. I could not get the thought of religious life or the CFR community out of my head and I decided I needed to visit the community. After my visit, I felt the Lord was calling me here and the community felt like my home. After much discernment and time, by the grace and mercy of God, a new chapter of my life has started. And I can say with Our Lady, "The Lord has done good things for me and holy is His name."

 

Brittany Allen

What marvels the Lord has done for us...! Not having grown up in a Catholic family, I can truly say that I am here because of the sheer goodness and grace of God. As a teenager I experienced a major conversion through the witness of Blessed Mother Teresa. In learning about her life, I became fascinated by the ability of a person to concretely live out what they professed to believe and I wanted to live that way too! Through Mother Teresa's inspiration, I learned how to pray the Rosary and through Our Lady, I learned to know and love her Son. In the midst of this time, I was invited by a friend to go to Mass. It was a simple daily Mass where the Lord revealed to me that He was present in a way that He wasn't present anywhere else in the world: in the Holy Eucharist. His true presence in the Eucharist led me to my entrance into the Church that Easter. During the next few years, I grew in my faith as I sought to know and understand both Our Lord and His Church on a deeper level. When I graduated from college, I began working at a Catholic home for homeless pregnant women called Maggie's Place. Living in community with these women, their children and other staff members was a very formative time in which I really began to grasp what it means to be an outpouring of love for others. While I was at Maggie's Place, a priest encouraged me to look further into religious life and told me, "A heart that knows it is loved, wants to respond." I realized that my heart could only be truly free and fulfilled by giving back to the Lord what He had first given to me - namely, everything! I am so grateful for the gift of this vocation and the opportunity to become the person He has called me to be in this community.

 

Rachel Daly

The best way I can describe my vocation story is as a slow process of learning that Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of everything I wanted for my life. I first thought about religious life around age twelve, but quickly abandoned the idea, believing that it would leave me empty, especially that part of me that longed for a spouse. However, right before I went away to college, a young Carmelite sisters came and gave a talk at my diocesan youth summer camp. She was beautiful and joyful and she explained to me for the first time that a religious sister is a bride of Christ adn that He fulfills that part of her that desires a spouse. I could tell by the way she spoke that is was true and it wasn't long afterward that I began to feel that tug on my heart to think more about religious life for myself. A few months and a lot of internal struggle later, God confirmed for me on a retreat that He was indeed asking this of me. I knew that He had fulfilled that Carmelite Sister's heart but I struggled to believe that He could do the same for me. So I began praying more and more, especially in Eucharistic adoration, and before I knew it, I could begin to look back and see how He was indeed romancing my heart. As Saint Augustine summed it up, "To fall in love with God is the greatest of all romances, to seek Him the greatest adventure, to find Him, the greatest of human achievement," and all I can say is that for me, this has proven to be true.

 

Klara Folse

I come from a large Catholic family and grew up attending Catholic schools in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Although raised in the Church, only in high school did I begin to think more seriously about the truths of the Faith. Largely due to the deaths of my two gradfathers, the brevity of life was impressed upon me and I was shaken out of my satisfaction with good grades and plans for a "successful and comfortable" life. No possible good or achievement the world could offer seemed to be enough for me. I was always left questioning, "to what end?" I began studying biology at Franciscan University of Steubenville with plans of pursuing a career in physical therapy; the thought of a religious vocation never once crossed my mind. This changed in the fall of my junior year when I studied abroad in Gaming, Austria. It was then that I came to know Christ's true presence in the Eucharist and quickly discovered that the "more" I had been searching for was contained in its entirety in the small, silent host. Desiring to give my life to bringing others to the love and truth I had encountered in our Eucharistic Lord but unsure of what this desire meant, I consecrated myself to the Blessed Mother at the tomb of Saint Clare in Assisi, confident that Our Lady would lead me to her Son's will. Just a year later, I made my first visit to the Community of the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal, feeling strongly that it was here Our Lord and Our Lady wanted to teach me to love and serve. With much grace, Our Lady has helped me give her Son my yes.