With Mary, let us crush the head of Satan
Until I entered the Catholic Church in November of 1975, I did not know anything about a vocation to religious life. It wasn’t until the summer of 1978, following my sophomore year in high school, that the first suggestion of it was made to me.
That suggestion followed after a serious accident on the freeway of Texas, in the middle of nowhere, when an 18-wheeler freight truck ran into my family’s Toyota pickup (with camper shell on top, where I was, along with my sister), sending us flying off the highway, flipping over 3 times, crashing to the ground. The camper shell blew apart in a million pieces, and my sister and I flew out. I don’t remember any of this happening. It was when I woke up in the hospital, and mom told me what happened. Then, someone found amidst the wreckage the glass statue of the head of the Blessed Virgin Mary that we had in the camper.
This person I had, and still do, named "Juan Diego" -- and he brought Our Lady to us.
Life went on -- but, for me, somehow I had been given a clearer understanding of the Blessed Virgin than I had when we first became Catholic. I had no catechesis -- I was learning the Faith on my own. At the Catholic high school I attended, I began to notice things that the Sisters, the priest-chaplain, and others would say to me, relating to becoming a religious sister. I looked at religious communities that had ads in the Catholic Digest and in the Twin Circle. I was drawn to the correspondence I had with the Community in Alton, Illinois.
In 1980, mom decided we would leave California. My parents had divorced. We packed up everything we had and drove east toward Dubuque, Iowa. After a night in a motel, mom said this is not where she wanted to move to. She asked me where the Sisters were located with whom I had been corresponding. We looked up Alton, Illinois, on the map. Practically straight south along the Mississippi River.
Now it is 2019. I have been a member of our Congregation since 1980. Seems that every milestone of my religious life as taken place on a Marian feast day or Marian Year. Our Lady is very much part of my vocation as a bride of Her Son, and as an instrument in Her hands to share in Her mission of crushing the head of Satan and bringing about the reign of the Heart of Her Son.