I had the desire to become a Sister when I was in Grade III. My Religion teacher was a Benedictine sister (OSB). I was fascinated by her sweetness and simplicity, and the way she narrated to us Biblical stories. When I was in high school, the desire became more intense. Each day before going to school, I participated in the Eucharist; though I didn’t fully understand it then, I felt the day was not complete if I failed to attend Mass. I went to college at the Divine Word College in Bangued, Abra; still, the desire was there. I always looked forward to the daily Masses so I could listen to the SVD’s missionary experiences. I often went to the library not to do research work but to read books like “Life of St Therese of the Child Jesus”, “Guide to Sisterhood”, “Answering God’s Call”.
One day, I saw on the bulletin board of the Campus Ministry office in our school, the brochure of the Dominicans. I wrote to them and got an encouraging reply. But prior to that, I went to the Holy Spirit Sisters in our place; I was told I should finish my studies first and work at least two years to gain experience. Although I wasn’t interested in the Pink Sisters in Baguio, my cousin still accompanied me for a visit there and I was told that I was still young to be admitted. Later on, at school, I saw the brochure from Daughters of Divine Zeal; while I wasn’t attracted to the brown color of the brochure, I wrote to them. Sr Dolores responded and to this day, I remember her quotation “… The harvest is rich but the labourers are few…” At that time I also recalled the challenge of the Holy Father when he came here in the Philippines “… If you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” , And the word of the Dominican Sisters: “… There are many young people like you who are serving God as Sisters. It’s nice to serve God while you are still young.” However, when I saw a Dominican Sister in our place, I did not mention my desire. Then Sr Dolores and Sr Marilyn Abian came. For three days I saw them in the church but I did not approach them. On the third day, I finally introduced myself and they told me that I could join the congregation right away. I was terrified since I thought I was not ready to enter the convent that time, and offered excuses like I needed another year to complete my Education diploma; my father would not agree to my entering the convent, etc. The sisters simply said “… invite us to your home.” When they came, my father was very indifferent; my mother and an aunt were gracious and supportive. For a whole month after that visit, my father refused to speak to me – until I got sick and though he was against my decision, he relented.
So, after completing the school year I, together with Sr Eva Marie Briosos, entered the Congregation on 29 March 29 1990. My parents and relatives, our parish priest and two other priests accompanied us to St Joseph, in Laoag City. It was my first time to be away from home and yet I did not feel homesick at all, no matter that I forced myself to think about my family and friends. In the convent I experienced and I am still experiencing the love of God, the love that had drawn and brought me here and the love that sustains me here. I thank Him for having called me to be part of this religious family. I thank him for our Sisters and all those people who helped me find this community where He has called me to serve Him. Indeed, I can say He called me in a unique and mysterious way. So here I am now, a perpetually professed sister continuing to be drawn by His love and trying to give myself totally to Him in the daily events of my life.
Sr Rosemarie Borreta fdz