Our New Postulants...

Our Postulants are Maria Montano (NJ) and Jordan Roth (IL)

May the Lord give you His peace!

All that our Lord has done to bring me here could be summarized using the words of St. Therese: “Everything is grace.” I was born in Colombia and my family moved to the United States when I was two years old. We settled in Lyndhurst, New Jersey where I had the great gift of growing up in a very loving and devout Catholic home. When I was nine years old, my parents began attending the monthly CFR Lay Associate days at Most Blessed Sacrament Friary. I loved the life the Friars lived- everything was centered on Christ and always so joyful! The CFRs, along with my devotion to St. Therese, quickly became two of the things I loved the most. Realizing how rare this was though, I became afraid of what people would think if I shared my faith. This fear caused me to push aside the thought that maybe God was calling me to be a religious, and I was too afraid to ask Him if it was His will. The Lord used two major knee surgeries to finally get my full attention. I was in recovery for a number of months and had to miss a significant amount of school. This provided a lot of free time and so I picked up the autobiography of St. Therese: The Story of a Soul. I was so captivated by the beauty of her story, especially by the way she spoke about being a bride of Christ. I could feel our Lord tugging at my heart again. He gently began to reveal the path He had for me all along.

During my sophomore year of high school, I was put in touch with the sisters and started to volunteer at their soup kitchen. I was touched by their joy, their prayer life centered on the Eucharist, and their work with the poor. In this time my heart began to desire, most of all, to always be with our Lord. I knew that this desire would be totally fulfilled through their way of life. I was home! I continued discerning throughout the next few years. Our Lord kept revealing His love and continued to give me more and more of a love for our way of life. By His great grace, and the powerful intercession of St. Therese, I was blessed to enter our community. I am so grateful for the gift of this vocation! May God be praised for all He has done!

- Maria Montano


“Here I am Lord. You called me…”

I was born and raised in McHenry, IL and entered the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal this past Fall 2016. Although I was blessed to have grown-up Catholic, I did not fully understand and live the Faith until I was in college. It was there the Lord sent me a friend who was authentically and joyfully living her life for Jesus. Through our friendship I began to encounter the Lord in a personal way and I began to understand my identity as a beloved daughter of God. In this growing relationship with the Lord, I felt a desire to be solely His and to love Him with an undivided heart. As this desire grew I felt the Lord invite me to religious life, but I often doubted and questioned the call. At Mass one day the Deacon preached the homily and the first words out of his mouth were, “So today’s readings are all about vocations.” The Holy Spirit used him to clarify all the doubts and questions I had and in the depths of my heart I knew this was the Lord inviting me to be His. Then my favorite song since I was a little girl, “Here I am Lord”, started to play as I went to receive Him in the Eucharist. Through a lot of prayer, especially in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, I continuously felt a desire to live for Him with an undivided heart. I recall looking at an image of a crucifix and knowing deeply that He wanted to be the One to fulfill all the desires of my heart—desires to be loved, to be pursued, to be protected, and to be cherished. In visiting our community, it seemed clear to me by the experience of great joy, peace, and a sense of being at home, that He wanted to fulfill those desires here.

- Jordan Roth