Working in Italy as an au pair during holidays from her nursing studies in Adelaide, Sarah-Jane was at a crossroads in her life and her faith was wavering. However, while attending a Mass at the cathedral she had “a beautiful experience of God’s love” and knew the profound moment was going to “change my life in a lot of ways”.
Now the 25 year old, who spent her youth attending Sunday Mass at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church in Payneham with her parents Carmel and David, is in formation with the Missionaries of God’s Love (MGL) Sisters.
It’s a long way from the path she thought her life would take!
“I grew up thinking I’m going to get married and have a big family, that was my desire,” she said.
“I had struggled with my faith through my teenage years and a few things had made me question if God was real and if He was good.
“While I still continued going to Mass every Sunday and being faithful, I definitely felt I was just holding on to this little thread of faith. I remember my prayer had become, ‘God if you are real, I want to know you, you’ve got to show me’.”
Eka finds home with the Jesuits
Sarah-Jane said the Milan experience showed her “He was real and He loved me more than I could ever understand – and that was a gift I wanted to share with the world”.
Returning to Adelaide she began discerning Religious life and on a retreat spoke with a Sister of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart who suggested MGL might be a good fit.
“Our charism and group is about sharing God’s love with the world. The Sisters work primarily with youth and those on the margins,” Sarah-Jane explained.
Her decision to join MGL in 2017 came as a “bit of a surprise” for her family and friends, but Sarah-Jane said they had always been “supportive and encouraging”.
The youngest in the formation house in Canberra, Sarah-Jane has some sage advice for other young people considering their vocation.
“I think I would say to them that discerning what God has planned for your life is the best adventure you will ever have.”