VOCATION STORY

It’s for You: It’s God Calling

Mother Incarnation's Story

“When I go back to school, here’s what’s going to be the sign.” I was so dumb, Mother Incarnation comments, adjusting her blue habit. “I’m not going to call them. If the SSVM sisters call me, that’s going to be my sign that I really need to start to think about this. Now, there was no chance they were ever going to call me; I was just some random person they met at some random concert at school.” So, I go back to school. No phone calls. No messages. Perfect, awesome, I’m not called. And then, on the fourth day, the phone rang.

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There was no caller-ID back then, so I answered and when she said who it was, I screamed. The poor sister on the other end—she told me later that she had been planning to call me at my house during the break. I told her that if she had, they would have had to come and pick me up off the floor.”

This is how Mother Incarnation, now the local superior of the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matera in Philadelphia, remembers God calling her to religious life. Like many of us, Mother was raised in a Catholic family but fell away from the Church at some point in her youth. She went through the motions of Mass in college, but when she was confronted with the doubts and questions of her Protestant peers, felt her faith dimming.

At the lowest point of her spiritual life, she found herself at a concert held by a praise and worship band made up mostly of priests and religious. It was there that she met five Servidoras, the order that made that providential phone call to her. She was taken with their joy and spirit of service. They would have her over weekends to give her a haven to do her homework and feed her, both physically and spiritually. “Oh, and they would tell me to bring my laundry,” Mother remembers. “If I didn’t, I’d get in trouble.”

Barely into her twenties, Mother had found a family and a vocation. There was only one problem. The daughter of a police officer and a stay-at-home mom did not have the luxury of escaping college without debt. Mother Incarnation had earned her degree in psychology, an education she insists has continued tenfold in her religious work. “A minor detail,” she laughs, “when you take a vow of poverty, you don’t have an income and those payments have to start.” 

She appealed to her friends and family for help, but her debts persisted in tying her down and keeping her from God’s plan. She kept hope: God was going to provide, she just did not know how. As it turns out, God had chosen the Fund for Vocations to provide for her. She found that out, once again, with a phone call, this time from the Fund for Vocations to let her know that she was going to be taken care of.  

She would enter formation with them later that year and, seven years later, would take final vows dedicating her entire life to Christ as his bride. She now serves some of the poorest in the city of Philadelphia, teaching and guiding them. Imagine the wonders that God could work in us if we would just take the call, like Mother Incarnation. We believe that just as He called her to perpetual service, He calls us to unblock her path. Join us in answering that call today. 

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