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Martha Fauteux As Vocation Director for the School Sisters of Notre Dame I experience many wonderful opportunities to share the gift of my life as a religious woman in the Church today. I find myself energized by these experiences because I see so many people interested in living full lives committed to a more just and human world. What is important to me, is not so much that I get women to enter our congregation, but that I help people come to know how God is important in their lives. And helping them establish a commitment to living faithfully within that relationship, whether as a religious, a priest, a brother or as a lay person within the church, is part of that. When we are committed to something outside ourselves we will find meaning and value in our lives. WE WILL BE HAPPY!!!!!

Part of my ministry takes me to schools where I am able to help the students to understand what being a Sister means. It is here I get lots of energy as I see students pondering the meaning of life and struggling with how they can be about change in our world today. So many young people today are concerned about things that really matter, and want to play active roles in changing our unjust social structures. In these visits, I share with the classes my own call to religious life and explain what our life is about. They are always interested in knowing the personal struggles and challenges, as well as how this lifestyle gives meaning to my life. In sharing my story with them I am filled with much gratitude as I share the different kinds of ministry and places where I have worked in my 19 years with the community in both Canada and in Peru.

A very special part of my work is walking with women in discernment. I feel very blessed to hear the stories of young people today as they struggle to find ways to know where God is leading them. These are sacred times and they teach me much about how God is faithful and creative - that there are many ways to live one’s life in fidelity to that God. At times the difficulties shared of broken homes, of broken relationships and dreams, of disappointments and the like bring me to a very profound stance of awe and reverence for that person. It is so amazing to me to hear their desire to be active in caring for others because of the care and suffering they have had.

These are some of the things I enjoy in my ministry because they give me life. But none of this could be possible without the support of my own caring local community. The women that I live with are so important in my ongoing call to ministry. Without their support and challenge my job would be a lonely one. They are for me strength for the journey and reinforce the belief that we are not on this journey by ourselves. God and the presence of others in our life are essential and a gift. Sharing my ministry in community provides for mutual ongoing support.

Sister Martha Fauteux
Vocation Director
School Sisters of Notre Dame

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