Retired. Sr. Ilaria is currently missioned at Sacred Heart Convent in New York City.
What attracted me to a life as a Missionary Sister: Since the time I was 13, I knew I wanted to serve the Lord. My own sister, who is a Sister of Mercy, recommended the congregation of the Missionary Sisters to me. Apparently, Mother Cabrini wanted me; I entered the year she was canonized – 1946..
Experience that convinced me that religious life was the right path for me: I was having difficulties in my life. But, I knew that becoming a religious sister was the right path for me.
Favorite prayer or scriptural quote: A favorite saying/prayer of mine is “My Jesus, please help me in the best way you know.”
Favorite way to pray: I like to sit quietly with the Blessed Sacrament and pray John’s gospel. I also like to pray when I am knitting.
Blessings and challenges of community life: Blessings: To have the time to pray in community and privately. The examples of the MSCs. Challenges: Learning to live with people of various backgrounds.
What I love most about being an MSC: The opportunity to serve God’s people. The means that are made available to grow in a spiritual life.
Best loved ministry: Nursing – caring for the sick; being there to help and comfort them. I also did clinical teaching to nursing students.
What I do for enjoyment – hobbies and interests: I like to knit, read, see movies, garden, do jigsaw puzzles. Visiting my family in upstate N.Y. also gives me joy.
People might be surprised to know that I… love animals…especially, dogs. For wild animals, I like wolves. They might also be surprised that I try to climb 10 flights of stairs each day – (not all at once, however!)
My advice for those who are in discernment: Listen to the Lord with an open and generous heart. Pray to the Lord to show you the way. Be open to what the Lord is saying to you.
Favorite resources that I would recommend for those in discernment:
Get a Spiritual Director.
Go to liturgy, daily, if possible.
Study scripture – particularly the gospel of John.