God Had My Attention

May 22, 2017

By Sister Jenny Wilson

Sister Jenny with her former student, Moses, in 2016.

Sister Jenny with her former student, Moses, in 2016.

It is February 2003, and I have been in Guyana for just a few months serving as a member of Mercy Volunteer Corps (MVC). There are many Sisters of Mercy visiting for a conference. I meet some of the sisters and then go home to the volunteer house. I am unaware of how that meeting will have anything to do with my future.

A few months before leaving Guyana in 2005 a few sisters came over to our volunteer house to visit. That morning a small voice from somewhere suggested that maybe I should think about becoming a sister. I promptly pushed that voice away and went on with my day. That night while visiting, the sisters began to tell their vocation stories. I listened patiently while inside I was thinking: “Are you serious God?” I could not ignore how my story had threads of similarities with theirs. Whether I liked it or not, God had my attention.

What I remember most about my time as an MVC volunteer in Guyana is the Sisters of Mercy. They welcomed me and put up with all the cultural mistakes I made. They were there when both of my grandmothers passed away. They were the face of God for me those two years. The way they responded to the needs of the people—the tireless way they served—helped me to see God in new ways. I struggled with the call I felt when I returned home to the States. I kept telling God there was no way I could be like those Sisters of Mercy I met in Guyana.

Listening to God

Sister Jenny and the late Sister Kostka Pereira in 2005.

Sister Jenny and the late Sister Kostka Pereira in 2005.

It is now 2017. I am a perpetually professed Sister of Mercy. I am visiting Guyana after a long time away. I visit the boys that live at St. John Bosco Orphanage. I spend time with two boys who had stolen my heart when I lived there. They inspired me to earn my master’s degree in education and special education. These boys are now 18. I meet the women who are in the process of becoming Sisters of Mercy. I listen to their experience, marvel at the grace of God in their lives and reflect on the continued grace of God in my life.

I am a Sister of Mercy today because of the many Sisters of Mercy I met in Guyana and in the United States. It is in their lives that I saw God. It is the human connection, the relationship with a sister, that enabled me to listen to God. The seeds planted will blossom even when we do not know it.

This article originally appeared in ¡Viva! Mercy.
Learn more about becoming a Sister of Mercy.

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  1. Madeleine Gomez

    I am not a Sister but my experience of the Sisters of Mercy is so similar to what you described – welcoming, caring, reflections of God. It is beautiful to learn of your story and the seeds that God’s voice planted in you! May we all blossom in the love and grace of God. I also hope that the young people’s lives that you’ve touched have found the ways to keep their seeds growing and blooming, too!