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2017 grant recipient candidates to religious life


Sister Jennifer Louisa O’Neill, I.H.M.

Sisters, Servants 
of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Immaculata, PA

What made you choose your order?

Well, I am a graduate from Immaculata, so I just kind of clicked with them from the start. The joy and love that is prevalent in the way they do their daily tasks is really inspiring. Also, the way they evangelize and teach is important to me, as well as their devotion through Mary.


Jessica Vitente

Sisters of Providence

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, IN

What has surprised me about religious life?

Postulant life has been an opportunity for long-term coming and seeing, as well as tasting, seeing and hearing, what religious life is about as a young woman in the 21st century. It was an experience that welcomed me to jump into a new lifestyle with both feet. I left three decades of a California girl lifestyle. It was difficult, but through the grace of God, I was able to build new relationships. It’s hard to believe I’m claiming the Midwest as my new home.

What would you like to say to the donors who made this grant possible?

I would like to say thank you, for I have hope and much faith that your generosity and the generosity of those who make what you do possible is providing a spark that helps keep the fire burning.


Sister Kimberly Todd Mello, O.S.C.

Poor Clare Nuns

Boston MA


Sister Graciela Colon, S.C.C.

(formerly Cialinett Colon)

Sisters of Christian Charity

Mendham, NJ

What would you tell someone considering a religious vocation but who is unsure of what steps to take?

If you have a feeling of being called, don’t have fear. Fear can hold us back. Letting go of fear to find a greater is a great feeling. When I started exploring the possibility is when I started to feel I was becoming myself. It’s about getting to know yourself even more and being the person the Lord wants you to be. Don’t be afraid to take that step. We need that in the church. It’s a beautiful process. 

How long have you been a Catholic? What brought you to the church?

Although I was raised as a cradle Catholic, my relationship with God really didn’t start until I went to college. I attended Saint Peter’s College (now university) in Jersey City, NJ, a Jesuit school. I started becoming involved in campus ministry and learned more about Jesuit spirituality. It was through the Jesuit practice of the Examen, being a woman for others, and seeing God in all things that helped me develop my faith and influence everything else I did.


Sister Maria Anna Dela Paz, O.S.F.

Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia

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