Vocation Story

Sister Mary Josephine Crowe, O.Carm.

My name is Sister Mary Josephine.  On Trinity Sunday of 2011, I made First Profession of Vows when I had the privilege of publicly consecrating my life to the Lord by professing the Vows of Obedience, Poverty and Chastity.  The Lord has called me into the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm to grow into deeper love, knowledge and work for Him by praying, living and working daily in the care of His senior people, the elderly who need our care.  Could I have done this as a lay person? God knows that in my weakness I need the help of Community in my attempt to give my life totally to Him.   

After leaving Secondary (High) School in Dublin, Ireland, I was excited about a summer job Dad had organized for me as a Nurse's Aide at the Congregation's nursing home in Dublin- Our Lady's Manor- in Dalkey.  But within a few week's of starting, I realized that I was not ready for this! It was hard work and as a teenager, I found it hard to communicate with the older person, or to understand their need for long term care.  I left Our Lady's Manor and worked in a restaurant for the rest of the summer and then went to College.  My twenties and thirties were spent working as a medical doctor in clinical microbiology and studying for post graduate exams.  I loved the work and dreamed that someday I would meet a best friend and husband and that God would bless us with a family.  But this was not to be.  I had been blessed with a good position in Dublin and was delighted to be back home after nine years working in England and Northern Ireland.  I had missed my family very much while away.  I was in my late thirties and early forties and I found myself asking God, "What is it you want from me, because I know I won't feel right or fulfilled until I do this?"

My Aunt was convalescing after cardiac bypass at Our Lady's Manor, twenty five years after my summer job experience there.  She was very unwell but the Sisters brought her back to health with professional, gentle and loving care, and their Christian witness was powerful.  I wrote to ask one of the Sisters, and the rest is history! The ordinary struggles of daily life and work remain, but God definitely graces and helps us if we hand all over to Him.  As a Carmelite Sister for the Aged and Infirm is a "wonderful life"- happy, holy, wholesome-with some fun and very fulfilling!

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Sister Mary Josephine Crowe, O.Carm.