Vocation Story

Sister Michelle Elizabeth Marie, O.Carm.

I was born and raised in Staten Island, NY and have one younger sister. I attended public school from kindergarten through twelfth grade and really enjoyed it. I was very active growing up both in and out of school. I participated in several extracurricular activities and eventually took on student leadership positions. My family was also very active in our parish especially youth group! My mother made sure that my sister and I were raised in the Catholic Church. I am very grateful for all of that. She taught my sister and I and all that she involved us in (both within the parish and our schools).I also took dance lessons growing up. I was in the school choir, taught CCD, and was a Girl Scout, among many other things!My hobbies include reading, making cards, making rosaries, singing and walking.My favorite Saints are St. Catherine of Siena, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Edith Stein and Bl. Stanley Rother.

In May 2019, I graduated from St. Francis College (SFC) with a bachelor’s degree in adolescent education with a concentration in social studies. I absolutely loved my time at SFC- the relationships I formed there and the experiences gained are ones that I will always cherish. Throughout my time in college, I worked nights and weekends at the parish rectory. I worked as a receptionist on nights and weekends.I had the chance to assist with setting up for dinners and with meetings for guests that would stay at the parish.As receptionist, I was responsible for the door, phone and various office jobs within the rectory.I also served as a group counselor for eight years at a Catholic sleep-away camp in the Hudson Valley called Camp Veritas. I also had the chance to serve on several mission trips both domestic and international.

I met the Sisters in 2015 when I participated in their SALT Program at their Home on Staten Island. I had worked at a nursing home (Little Sisters of the Poor) after my freshman year of college. Participating in SALT Program reminded me of just how much I enjoyed working with the elderly. I participated in four SALT Programs: two on Staten Island, one in Dublin, Ireland, and one in Naperville, IL. Every experience left me more in love with working with the residents than the last! However, it was getting to spend time with the Sisters that really helped me to discern the Lord’s call in my life.They were so authentic and loving in their interactions with one another and the residents, families, and staff members in the Homes.Being around them made me feel freer to be myself! What drew me to Carmel was the stillness of the grounds and of the prayer. I have always been active but having the freedom and space to just be still before the Lord was something that attracted me and found myself seeking out more and more. The more I visited Avila and spent time with the Sisters and residents during SALT, I found myself searching for ways of maintaining the peace and joy I found there. Eventually, I knew that applying to enter was what the Lord was asking of me.I entered the Congregation as Postulant on October 5, 2019.

I close with my favorite quote, “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5)



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Sister Michelle Elizabeth Marie, O.Carm.