Sr Annette Clemence
I have always believed God has a plan for each one of us. I certainly did not have any wonderful experience on the start of my path to religious life... I was very happy teaching in Cornwall, I lived at home and had a good social life. I was very involved in the local church and did all the usual things with children, groups etc.
I had for many years thought about religious life, two of my mother’s sisters were missionaries in Malaysia and having been at a Convent school and College I knew a little bit about Religious Life.
I was well in my thirties when I decided this was the right time, to think seriously about my vocation. I was determined to take full responsibility for any decision I would make and not listen to the comments like ‘you must be mad’ and ‘at your age you will never adapt to such a different way of life’ After finding out a little about several congregations I was attracted to the Daughters of the Cross because I felt they were not in a mould but all very individual.
At the age of thirty eight I took the step in faith and after two years of close association with the Sisters I commenced my Postulancy. I continued to work and live in my own home. The Sister who accompanied me was a down to earth sensible Sister who accepted the next few years would be difficult; being very aware that at my age and my having lived very independently she knew it would not be easy. She encouraged me to pray and reflect and I stayed with the decision I had made.
The Novitiate was tough because it was a canonical year and a very great change from the life I left behind but again I was greatly supported by two Sisters in particular and I made it to first profession. This was one of the happiest days of my life and the start of a long journey of glorifying and honouring Christ by loving and serving Him, above all, in his weakest and most suffering members. (constitution 2)
I think I have been blessed in my apostolate and although now retired from full time work I lead a very busy and fulfilled life in St Elizabeth’s Centre.
My message to anyone considering religious Life is ‘keep focused, allow no one to come between you and God and you are never too old! (until you are over fifty five).