Sr Veronica Bolam
I always felt that I had a calling but did nothing about it, until I was going on a pilgrimage to Lourdes and on this pilgrimage I met four Daughters of the Cross. My friend and I became very friendly with them and when the pilgrimage ended, we were having a few days in London and the Sisters had invited us to their convent in Much Hadham. We talked about it and decided to ring them to say we would like to visit them. We spent a lovely day there and promised to keep in touch. I wrote regularly to a couple of the Sisters and they invited me down for a weekend, in fact when my holidays came I went down and worked on the units. I felt that this was where I belonged as their charism covered most of the works of mercy.
When I went back to work I spoke to one of the Sisters of the Sacred heart who suggested that I should give it a try, otherwise I would keep hankering about it for the rest of my life. At the end of the month I made my way down to Much Hadham and decided to work there for a year so I could get to know more about the Sisters and their works It was then suggested that I move into the convent but still have paid work.
In 1974 I entered as a postulant in their house in Purley. I found it very hard at first as at aged 38 I had run my own life. Still, I persevered and the day arrived two years later, for me to make my first vows, which was to be in the Chapel in Carshalton, which was the Provincial House at that time. I was so elated and really felt that I belonged. Before my first vows, my mother and sister who were at home, rejected me and it was a hard decision to go ahead, but my heart told me that I was right to go on. After I had made my first vows, I went home on a visit and when they saw how happy I was, they were allright with me. However, every time I went home, right up to my final vows my mother tried to talk me out of it. After a year I renewed my vows for two years, then for three years, after which I was ready to make my final vows.
Some years ago I celebrated my silver jubilee and now I am heading for my golden jubilee.