What Should I Do?
Be Not Afraid

     "What should I do with my life?" This is a question that many young people ask themselves. For me the answer was always easy. Since I was eight year old, I knew exactly what I was going to do: I was going to join the Daughters of Our Lady of the Garden and take care of orphan and poor children just the way the Sisters did in the orphanage right next to my house.

     There was only a piece of land separating my house from the orphanage run by the Sisters. Since my very young age, I always observed how kind and caring those Sisters were towards the about hundred orphan girls entrusted to their care. There was one Sister in particular whom I really admired. She acted as if those girls were her own daughters. When she didn't have enough food for them, she would go to the neighborhood houses and ask for it. I remember the humility with which she would ask my father if he had anything he could share with her so she could feed the girls.

     In the third grade, God blessed me with an excellent teacher. He was a priest who not only taught us the academic skills we needed to learn, but trained us in many other ways. He was in love with Jesus and automatically drew us very close to Him and made us understand that we find Jesus in every human being, especially in the poor ones. During that year, my desire to become like the Sisters in the orphanage grew even stronger. Now I knew that if I took care of those orphan girls, I was actually taking care of Jesus Himself. I couldn't wait to become a Sister.

     At sixteen years of age, after a long battle with my father who in no way wanted to give me permission to leave the house at such a young age, I was able to start my religious formation process with the Daughters of Our Lady of the Garden.

     Fifty-three years went by since my first Religious Profession. Never once I remember of having regretted my decision; rather, as time went on, I became more and more convinced that following Jesus as a consecrated person is to continue his mission here on earth. This fills me with joy and strengthens me to overcome any obstacle to serve Him faithfully in my brethren.

     My desire has always been that many young girls could experience the joy and satisfaction I have experienced throughout my life. Would you like to be one of these young people? Come and see.

                               -- Sr. Mary Antoinette Cappelli: