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Regina Garofalo


Religious Community
Felician Sisters of North America


Erie, Pennsylania


Mercyhurst College

What did study in college?
I had a major in psychology and a minor in religious studies. I always wanted to be in a field where I help people, and I was always fascinated by the mind and why people act the way they do.


What were you doing before you entered this formation program?
I worked as a T.S.S. worker as part of a team doing social work. I worked with kids with severe behavioral problems due to abuse. I did that for about five years, but I just wasn’t making enough money.  I decided to start substitute teaching, but I lost my job due to budget cuts. Before I was a Felician sister, I was a general manager at a Rite Aid.


When did you know you wanted to be a sister?
I never wanted to be a sister until a few years ago. When I was younger, my mom mentioned that she wanted to be a sister before she met my dad. I was so turned off that I told her not to bring it up again! 


What was the turning point leading to your commitment to a religious vocation?
There were several points, really. Five years ago I attended an adoration event where I sat to pray and read. When I got there I was moved to tears. Not sad tears but an overwhelming love I felt for Jesus. I was very humbled by them. I felt he was telling me I had to change the way I was living my life. 
    About two years ago I was sitting in church before Mass and I saw a sister sitting there, and I started to cry. I felt that God wanted me to do this, and I didn’t really want to do it. 
    Three months after that happened I met one of the Felician sisters in the airport. There is no way it wasn’t meant to be. 


What is the most difficult part about adjusting to religious life?
I have a dog, a German shepherd, and that has been hard for me to give up. Also giving up control and thinking I know what’s best. At first it was hard putting everything in God’s hands. I’ve been very independent for a long time. 

Do you have a your favorite prayer?

Yes! St. Teresa of Avila’s prayer, which is called “St. Teresa’s Prayer.” It’s very real, the way it is worded, and very down to earth with its language.


What do you do for fun?

I like to exercise. My favorite thing to do us going to the gym. I love to watch movies, too.


What would you like to say to the Hilton Foundation, who made this grant possible?

Just thank you. You are doing God’s work, and you are making it possible for me to follow down the path God wants me to be on.

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