Sister M. Mercedes Diaz, FSGM

Most little girls dream about prince charming and walking down the church isle wearing the perfect white gown.   My dream was a little different.  While others dreamt about white I wished it was blue.  Why blue? It is my favorite color.  Oh, c’mon, I was only 7 then.   I would walk down the isle with my gaze fixed on Jesus’ smile and await to receive the habit, the sign of my total belonging to Him.  The habit would be blue, of course.  Or, at least according to my dream.

Although deep within I knew from an early age that God had a very special calling for me I still had a pretty normal childhood and teenage years full of questions, longings and getting in and out of trouble.

My family is originally from Dominican Republic and we would spend most summers there.  It was there that my love for the poor grew, my capacity to be generous stretched and I learned the meaning of loving sacrifice.  There, mom and dad would run some kind of charity event that always included catechesis and food.  My favorite one was when mom bought dolls for all the girls from our village and then had a baptism for the dolls followed by the baptism party!  At the end of our stay there, we would all return home with only the clothes we were wearing.  For someone who loves shoes (I owned about 100 pairs before I entered the convent) this was a huge sacrifice.

My normal teenage years included dating, as many dances as I was permitted, youth group, traveling, and thinking about college…or Religious Life…or college?  HELP LORD!   Everyone around me was applying to college but all I wanted to do was enter the convent.  I felt like no one would understand – why would a lovely, intelligent girl like myself want to waste her life like this?  As college applications came around I applied to Rutgers not really knowing what major to choose.  What do “nuns” major in, anyways?

Summer after graduation came so off to Dominican Republic the family went.  There a past relationship was rekindled which put my vocational discernment on a different track.   Talk of marriage was in the air.  

I ended up attending Rutgers University for, um, seven years and finally graduated with a degree in Spanish.   My relationship with my Dominican beau ended leaving me more confused than ever about my vocation.   I had enjoyed thinking about married life and about having a solid Catholic family of my own.  Religious life was off my radar.

College life was not what I had thought it would be.  All I know is that while I ran away from God’s will for my life, I would not live to the potential for which I was made.  My heart was restless and I yearned to be loved and to return that love.

My parish priest, who knew about my vocational discernment, approached me and said, “You can’t run away for ever.”   That struck a chord in my heart and I knew it was time for me to seriously discern...again.

Praise the Lord for the internet because through the World Wide Web I was able to do some research incognito.  Friends, family, and co-workers would walk about while I researched online and BLOOP down would go that screen.  I didn’t want anyone to influence my decision.  

I cannot possibly write all the twists and turns that God allowed in my life that finally led me to where I am today.   When I found our community my life started to make sense and pieces started to fall into place like a giant puzzle.  All that was missing was my surrender to Him whom I longed for all my life.

August 15th, 2003 the dream of my childhood was realized.  There I was, walking down the isle, eyes fixed on Jesus and I received the habit of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George.   It was not blue but nonetheless beautiful because it was His will.

Day in the life of Sister M. Mercedes Diaz, FSGM 

 
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