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Sr. Elisa

The Most Divine of Divine Things…

When asked to tell my vocation story, I returned willingly to my childhood.The time of preparation for First Holy Communion was a time when the Lord placed his love in my heart. I was able to grow in faith living in a family very devoted to the Lord.

My father had a special devotion to the Madonna. Seeing his faith and trust in Mary increased my trust in her as well. Our Lady was for me like a person who lived with me. I prayed to her frequently.

There were nine of us children in my home. Because my father could not always do the shopping, I went with my sister; we were still very young girls.

In India, in Kerala, the daily shopping was the task of the father of the family or of one of the sons, but my little brothers were still small. I remember on the return trip from the store, we always prayed the rosary.

The walk took nearly an hour; as we did not have a rosary, the electric poles along the street substituted for rosary beads, and thus from one pole to the next we prayed the mysteries of the Rosary until we reached the house.

Before I finished high school, my two sisters had already entered the convent. When they returned home on vacation, they told us about life in the convent. Once I heard them say that they had to get up in the middle of the night to pray. I said to myself then, I would never enter a convent – I do not want to get up so early! But, when I saw my sisters so happy, and I heard them speak, something began to change in me. The older one impressed me most of all: before entering the convent she was a little rascal and always did silly things; now I saw her changed, so serene and tranquil. Sometimes I wondered what the Sisters did to change her so much for the better.

When I finished school, I attended a vocational camp. When one of the priests spoke of the religious life, I was touched by an image: The consecrated person is like a small light which illuminates the street of those who walk in darkness, and even if the light is small, it is able to disperse the shadows on the way. From then on I began to think seriously of the religious life. At the same camp, I got to know the Sisters of St. Peter Claver.

I went on with my life, but I had already decided interiorly to become a Sister, and I told my future plan to my parents. They were not opposed to it, but when they heard that I would also need to go to Bangalore, they did not give me permission. I wrote to the Sisters anyway and received an answer very soon: they were passing nearby and would come to meet me at Kannur, my birthplace. Thus my parents were able to meet the Sisters, and they did not have any more difficulties letting me go so far away from home.

During formation I understood that the desire to become a Sister grew in my heart because it was Jesus who called me and helped me overcome all the obstacles.

Today I am convinced of what the Foundress of my Religious family, Blessed Mary Theresa Ledóchowska, said: “The most divine of divine things is to cooperate in the salvation of souls.” And I would like to dedicate my entire life to this work.

~Sr. Elisa Karukappallil