*Sr. Mary Emmanuel will not be taking on any more discerners at this time*
Praised be Jesus and Mary!
My name is Sr. Mary Emmanuel, and I am a Marian Sister of Santa Rosa. Our community was founded in and for the Diocese of Santa Rosa in Northern California to magnify Jesus Christ with Mary by communicating the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Catholic faith through joyful evangelization and living the Church’s liturgical life. I entered the community in 2016 and made my first profession of vows on May 24, 2019. I look forward to the day I will, God-willing, give my heart to Jesus forever through professing final vows.
Since I grew up in sunny Santa Rosa, California, I like to say that my community came to me. I distinctly remember the summer morning when I was sixteen years old that I saw two blue veiled Sisters in the pews of my parish church. “Sisters! Here?!” I had never met a Sister in a habit before, and I didn’t think I liked nuns because I could only imagine them being stern and dour. However, as I got to know these Sisters (I joined a Marian Sodality they began), I found that they were loving, warm, and holy women – loving because they were in love with Love Himself.
As part of the Sodality, I consecrated myself to Jesus through Mary, and I began to seriously consider that God might be calling me to be a Religious Sister. I struggled because I deeply desired to be a wife and mother of a large Catholic family. However, through prayer, especially attending daily Mass, I came to the realization that God knows me and loves me better than I know and love myself, so truly His Holy Will is the only thing that will satisfy me. I took all my courage in my hands and asked to go on a discernment visit with the sisters. On that visit, I remember in Holy Hour looking at the Host and telling Our Lord, “I think I can do this.” I asked to apply and was accepted to enter.
Currently, I serve Jesus by teaching 7th-grade religion at the local Cathedral Parish school in which it is a special joy to prepare my students for the Sacrament of Confirmation. I also co-ordinate the Parish’s CCD program and am finishing my bachelor’s degree online in Organizational Leadership. As I continue to learn what it means to be a Bride of Christ and a Mother of Souls, I love my religious life more and more. I realize that I am married, “I am espoused to Him who the angels serve” and I didn’t give up a large Catholic family but have gained an even larger one through spiritual maternity.
I love Christmas (I am named after the Christ Child) and enjoy singing Christmas carols with anyone I can convince to join me on the 25th of every month.
If I can assist a young woman in her discernment journey, it would be my great joy and privilege.