Desert Nuns

Sr. John-Mark Maria

sjmm2Serving the Lord as a nun was always a possibility, but not an option that I felt drawn to. I was raised in a beautiful, active Catholic family (whom I thank God for every day). My mother had been in a Maryknoll convent for two years so naturally discernment of God’s call was encouraged. My senior year in High School I remember talking to my boyfriend about the future and I blurted out, “Maybe I will be a nun!” I was just as surprised at my proclamation as he was.

I knew I wanted to “make a difference in the world” but that was the extent of it. I went to college to continue to be “who I thought I was”; an athlete and a musician. Two knee surgeries and a new appreciation for the challenges of music theory ended that chapter of my life.

In 1996 a new pastor was assigned to my parish. His energy, faith-filled confidence and his love for the faith and the children of God sparked in me a drive for full time ministry for the church.

I was blessed to work for the Lord, in Ohio, for six years as the Director of Religious Education at Little Flower Parish, for one year for the National Evangelization Team, and for four years at Walsh University. All along I felt joy doing God’s work, but I was not necessarily at peace when thinking about His will.

Through the patient support of my spiritual director (thanks Fr. Sullivan, O.P.), my family and the gentle invitation of Our Lord I came across the Poor Clares’ web site. Many consolations began to follow as I conversed with and visited the community.

I marvel each day at the Lord’s generosity, mercy, love and support that I am shown through this vocation, through my PCPA sisters, and by the priests, seminarians and the Diocesan community. In this vocation peace and joy have been given to me by doing God’s will through His work of prayer. Col. 3:17