Friday, November 06, 2009

What vocations "crisis"?

There's a vocations "crisis" in Spain. According to a Catholic News Agency article there are only 20 Jesuit novices, 5 Franciscans, and 2 Vincentians in the entire country.

How is it, then, that there are over 135 Poor Clares (average age 35) in a single convent in Lerma with 100 more on the waiting list?

Much of it is thanks to the amazing charism of one remarkable nun: Sister Veronica Berzosal. When Sister Veronica entered the convent at the age of 18, there hadn't been a vocation in 23 years. She became vocations director at the age of 28 and since then, the number of nuns at the convent has quadrupled. The Spanish newspaper El Pais calls her, "the biggest phenomenon in the Church since Teresa of Calcutta." Here's a bit more about her from the CNA article:
Sister Veronica joined the Poor Clares Convent of the Ascension founded in 1604 in Lerma (Spain) at at time when it was going through a vocations crisis. It was January 22, 1984, and Marijose Berzosa - Sr. Veronica's name prior to entering the convent - decided, at age 18, to leave behind a career in medicine, friends, nightlife and basketball.

"Nobody understood me. There were bets that it would not last, but they did not feel the force of the hurricane that drew me in," says Sr. Veronica. "I was a classic teenager looking for a way out ... and I made a decision in just 15 days."
I have always found stories like this one to be so remarkable. Who else but the Holy Spirit could inspire a young person to do something this dramatic?

Thank God for women like Sr. Veronica. God send us more of them!