Posted April 05, 2011 in My Story:
The Story of My Vocation

by Marg Stobie.

It took a long time for Marg to find her vocation. Here is what she wrote when she became an applicant (novice) at MH in June 1988 at the age of 37.

When I arrived at Madonna House, I wasn’t thinking of staying. At that time I didn’t even consider myself a Catholic.

Although I was raised Catholic and had practiced the Faith for the most part, two or three years previously, I had left the Church, thinking I wouldn’t return.

When I found out I couldn’t get along without God and did return—about a year before I came to MH the last time—I returned as an Anglican.

(Though I hadn’t reached the point of convincing myself to be formally received into the Anglican Church, I did consider myself an Anglican.)

It was thirteen years since I had last visited Madonna House. I came originally in 1974 for a couple of days with a school friend. I had never heard of the community before, and all I learned about it came from my first impressions. I hated it! The visit was horrible!

But in spite of that, I had been drawn to the idea that I might have a vocation to community life, and so I returned a year and a half later, thinking I might like to stay for a while.

I didn’t get to the point of telling anyone there I was interested in joining eventually, and after only four or five days, I was told that this community wasn’t where I needed to be and that I shouldn’t stay.

I left thinking I’d been told this was not my vocation, even though I had been told that if I wanted to come back some vague time in the future, I could return "for a little while."

I didn’t totally abandon the idea of pursuing that sort of vocation. I returned to my last job for a couple of years and then entered the Adrian Dominicans.

I was with them for about a year and a half, living in communities in Toronto and at the motherhouse in Adrian, Michigan. I realized that was not where I belonged and I left.

Later on, when I wrote asking to return to Combermere, I asked to stay for only four or five days. I figured that if it turned out that I still hated it, I would leave after those few days and continue with Plan B for that year’s vacation.

If on the other hand it turned out that I was happy there, and if they allowed me to, I planned to stay a few months—probably until the following spring. I had already resigned from my job in order to be free to do that.

As for my no longer being a practicing Catholic, I had forgotten how Catholic an environment Madonna House is. I had expected to just continue being an Anglican.

It didn’t take long to change all those expectations. I was happy at MH and didn’t want to leave. So after those few days, I asked to stay on. Within a couple of weeks, I found myself admitting to myself that I wanted to go to confession and return to the Catholic Church. So I did.

I also realized that it made no sense to make that kind of decision and immediately walk back into my old environment with no support for it. I knew I had to stay at MH for a while.

Then as the days passed, I came to realize that I could no longer imagine myself leaving. The more I thought and prayed about it, the greater was my sense that there wasn’t anywhere else God wanted me to go (or would allow me to go to peacefully).

I won’t say there weren’t times when I’d have liked to be somewhere else, but it seems there isn’t any place else.

I’m happy here, and at peace—more so than I have ever been anywhere. All I can do is bow to what I believe to be the will of God and ask to be accepted as an applicant.


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