I am NRVC

I am NRVC

Sister Anna Marie Espinosa, I.W.B.S., vocation director and NRVC board member


How long have you been involved in vocation ministry?

Four years.

Are you part of a team?

I am a one-person operation. However, I enjoy the service of a volunteer vocation team that assists me with Come and See events and the IWBS Vocation Discernment Retreat. Several sisters participate in vocation efforts by sharing their own vocation story or providing a reflection about an aspect of consecrated life. Many sisters also serve the vocation effort as Emmaus companions when we have visitors. Two of our retired sisters are great with environment; they set up a lovely space for our gatherings. In addition, sisters accompany me sometimes when I travel to parishes or when I visit college campuses. I am blessed with support.

Has being a member of NRVC been helpful to you?

NRVC resources are terrific. I use them on a consistent basis—to assist young women with their discernment journeys; for information and updates that help keep our community invested in vocation efforts; and for my ongoing learning and spiritual wellbeing.

Our vocation team used the Moving Forward in Hope reflections and videos for reflection and assessment. We provided a presentation and process for community sharing. With NRVC resources and support of community we are able to do the following: keep our sisters informed, focus our energy on best practices, and more effectively elicit support from our sisters for our vocation efforts.

What has been your best vocation effort?

This past November our Diocesan Vocation Retreat was a great success. It was our first in several years. The collaboration among religious women and with the diocesan vocation director helped us build relationships among ourselves and facilitated our preparation process. The weekend retreat was a wonderful opportunity for 38 men and women to meet and support each other in discernment. Seven women have been in touch with us since.

Also, because there are no Catholic universities in either the Corpus Christi or the Brownsville Diocese, working with college campus ministers in other dioceses has been fruitful. The Busy Students Retreat has been an important way to build relationships with college students. Finally I have found that Come and See events are always appreciated by the young women with whom I am in contact. Sometimes we simply invite young women to join us for evening prayer and supper at our motherhouse. They love to come.

What do you find most rewarding about vocation ministry?

I love sharing my vocation story and listening to the vocation stories of my sisters. I never tire of hearing them. Each one is different. Sharing a vocation story becomes an Emmaus walk experience. In the sharing, I find that God reawakens in me a deep gratitude for the beauty of God’s call to a life of love and service. When I hear, “How did you know you wanted to be a sister?” I know that a sacred journey has begun.



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