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 | By Sister Meggie Flores

The Consecrated Life: A Vocation Story

Sometimes when God wants to speak to us, he reveals himself through signs, and I’ve learned throughout the years to be more attentive to them. My calling to the “Little Company” — the Daughters of Charity — comes from early in my life and looking back, the signs were evident. The prophet Jeremiah said, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you” (1:5).

I believe that the stories of our vocations do not begin in a specific year. They have been present in God’s heart for eternity. He always takes the initiative, and there is a moment or a year where we just surrender to his plan for our lives. I didn’t think of it, God did, and he put ways to discover it in my hands.

For nothing will be impossible for God (Lk 1:37-38)

I was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to a poor, simple, dysfunctional Puerto Rican family. And when a family is dysfunctional things are rarely simple. I was born out of wedlock at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Bridgeport, coincidentally founded by the Daughters of Charity in 1903. My mother was 25 years older than my father.

I was baptized two months later at Our Lady of the Divine Providence Church, also in Bridgeport, and my godmother gave me a medal of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. I wore it until I left home to be a postulant.

Growing up in Connecticut, I got a full scholarship to enroll in Blessed Sacrament School and studied fourth, fifth and part of sixth grade there. It was a common parochial school of that time, placed next to the convent of the Dominicans Sisters of Caldwell who operated and staffed it. In front of the school was the church and next to the church was the rectory. There, I began my first relationship with the Bible, made my first communion, confession and confirmation. At times, I would escape to the sister’s chapel and just gaze and enjoy the silence. I have the happiest memories of my childhood in this school and while living at Central Ave.

My stepfather and my mom bought a house in Puerto Rico and were planning to move there. Mom was packing to send our stuff with the moving company, and my stepdad had gone ahead to get a job. But something unexpected happened: my stepdad died, and we had to make an emergency move to Puerto Rico. This is where I met the Daughters of Charity, discerned, became a postulant and entered the company.

All wisdom is from the Lord … the sands of the sea, the drops of rain, the days of eternity (Sir 1:1-2)

At the end of high school, I started to get more involved in church. I joined the youth group and the choir. When I was about to graduate, questions came to my mind: What am I going to study in college? What do I want to do with my life? I started spiritual direction with the pastor of my parish. I was invited to a vocational retreat with the Daughters, and that’s where it all continued — because in reality, it began in eternity.

In my discernment process I started to know different religious communities. There were Daughters of Charity where I was living, and I took a catechism course with them. I also sold spiritual books for the Daughters of St. Paul at church and in different activities. I was very involved in parish life. A Daughter of Charity who was working in my parish, Immaculate Conception, started to accompany me and took me to meet the visitatrix (provincial). I had my first dialogue with her, and she told me to continue my studies in college and to come back in two years. I kept in close communication with the Daughters and participated in a few more vocational retreats.

But then it is as if fire is burning in my heart (Jer 20:9)

So, I did exactly that but meanwhile the flame of my desire to enter became more intense. I felt like Jeremiah who could not avoid the call of the Lord. So, I went back after two years and was to be admitted on the feast of Our Lady of the Assumption.

The hardest part of entering was to tell my mom and leave her by herself. A Daughter of Charity with a group of discerners went to my house to give mom the great news. They sang a Spanish church song, “Vienen con alegria,” which means coming with joy. I remember that the chickens came inside too, and truly it was a great, loud moment of joy.

My mom said words I will never forget: “I have always wanted my daughter to find a good husband; there is no better husband than Jesus Christ.”

There is one detail I did not know until I was a novice. I asked my mom if I was born in St. Vincent’s Hospital and if the Daughters of Charity were there at the time of my birth. She said, “Meggie, it was St. Vincent de Paul, and a Daughter of Charity presented you to your father in the nursery.” Another evident sign of what God’s providence had bestowed for me.

When I was nine, my mom bought a statue of the Virgin Mary for me that I kept in my room. It cost her a quarter at the Salvation Army. I would pray to Mary or simply talk with her at night. When I was discerning, these talks became more frequent. And one day, I expressed to her my desire to see my biological dad and share with him about my vocation. I had not seen him for eight years.

‘These rays are the symbol of the graces that the Blessed Virgin obtains for those who ask them of her’ (Nov. 27, 1830)

Two days before I entered, my father appeared. I told him about my vocation and what it meant to me. He was happy for me. I invited him to take me to the Provincial House, and he took me along with my mom, uncle, aunt and my cousin. After I changed my clothes to the postulant uniform, the formation sister invited our family to the chapel. It was truly a miracle for me to have my parents together. We entered the chapel and knelt to pray, mom at my right side and dad at my left.

I looked up to the altar and to my surprise, I noticed for the first time that the statue I had carried and prayed with since I was 9 years old was the same as the one on the altar! It was Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, our Lady of Grace — the same who appeared in 1830s France to a Daughter of Charity at our motherhouse.

Our Blessed Mother said to St. Catherine Labouré: “Come to the foot of this altar. Here, graces will be spread over all who ask for them with confidence and fervor” (July 18, 1830).

A year later, on the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (remember the medal given to me by my godmother at baptism?), I officially entered the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. It was July 16, 1983.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his mercy endures forever (Ps 118:1)

After 40 years, here I am with the fire still burning inside of me, still in love. The story has not ended. To my understanding, it will last until eternity.

I want to enjoy this moment and become closer to the Lord, more whole and holier every day. There is only one word that comes to my mind and sums it up: gratitude. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Mary. And my thanks to everyone else that helped me along the way.

Sister Migdalia ‘Meggie’ Flores, DC, is the diocesan supervisor of the Hispanic Farmworkers Ministry. Email her at