Marianist Sister to Profess Vows Saturday
Sr. Nicole Trahan, FMI, a teacher at Chaminade Julienne High School in Dayton (OH), will take her final vows as a Marianist sister Saturday afternoon at the University of Dayton’s Immaculate Conception Chapel.
A native of Texas, Sr. Nicole has worked for CJ for two years teaching religion and as an assistant director in the school’s academic and ministry and service offices.
Sr. Nicole, 38, attended Catholic elementary and high schools, as well as Texas A&M (a state university with what is generally regarded as some of the most vibrant Catholic student programming in the country). After graduation she worked for an AmeriCorps teaching program, and then taught math and science in Catholic schools — where, she told her hometown newspaper, the Beaumont Enterprise, religion and theology teachers were always in high demand.
While taking extra classes to teach those subjects, she first met Marianists and felt an immediate connection. After some time as a lay Marianist she realized that she was called to more, and that life as a Marianist sister was exactly what God was calling her to lead.
Sr. Nicole is the only woman joining the Marianist Sisters this year, and the congregation has no other women currently in formation. But Sr. Nicole — who is also national vocations director for the Marianist Sisters, says many women are interested and that the congregation will open a House of Discernment for future sisters this month in Dayton. Women discerning a vocation will live with the sisters for two weeks to a year, sharing prayer and communal life as they explore their vocations.
“Vocation is such a profound mystery, because we are speaking of the work of God. One may think that it is about marketing or visibility.” she says. “But religious vocations are born from one’s relationship with God and of prayer.”
While congregations with habits and a more traditional form of religious life are often in the news, Sr. Nicole says that many people are called to congregations such as the Marianists.
“I have been blessed to be involved with an organization called Giving Voice,” she says. “It is a national organization for women religious under age 50. And while some of the Giving Voice sisters where habits, the vast majority do not, and many of these women have entered religious life in the past 10 years. It is a vibrant group with a passion for Jesus and for God’s people.”
Sr. Nicole says she would give anyone contemplating life as a Marianist the same advice she gives all people exploring a vocation: “First, I would advise them to pray and seek out a spiritual director,” she says. “Spiritual direction can be so helpful for someone discerning their path in life.
“Secondly, I would invite them to get to know us – spend time with us in prayer, visit one of our communities for a meal and sharing. I realize that can be slightly intimidating, but one has to discern whether or not the Congregation is a good ‘fit.’ I would also encourage the woman to get to know our spirituality. There are many web resources that could be helpful including our website, YouTube Channel, and Facebook page.”
Sr. Nicole told the Beaumont Enterprise that her world has broadened since joining the Marianists — “I’ve met more different kinds of people, traveled to places I never thought I would go to,” she says — and that her greatest challenge as a sister is also one religious life’s greatest gifts: loving everyone as a brother and sister.
“It’s the most difficult thing I’ve tried to do,” she told the paper. “It’s challenging, it’s heartbreaking. It’s a gift.”
Sr. Nicole’s profession of final vows will take place at 4 pm on August 3rd in a ceremony open to the public.
If you think you may be called to be a Marianist sister, contact Sr. Nicole at firstname.lastname@example.org for information about the congregation and the new House of Discernment.
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