We are pleased to introduce Virginia Patton, our new Observer, who is exploring the Religious Life as it is lived here at All Saints Priory. Virginia will be with us for one month, living, worshiping, and working alongside the Community under the guidance of Sister Christina, who has many years experience in Formation work.
When asked if she would write a little piece about herself for Thoughts from the Hilltop she eagerly responded with the following comments.
My Observatory Experience at All Saints Convent
I started visiting All Saints in June of 2012. Since then I’ve come 2 – 3 times each year to retreat and meet with our Lord. I have grown to love this Convent and the community here. It has deeply enriched my relationship with God. Prior to my first visit to All Saints, I’ve wondered if God could be calling me to the religious life. I’m still trying to discern his call.
Two months ago I was worshiping at mass at the parish in my neighborhood, and I suddenly got the idea to come to All Saints for a long month visit. I considered visiting for an extended stay for awhile but hadn’t gained the courage to step forward. I prayed and sought the Lord about the idea, and the next day I contacted Sister Christina and Mother Emily Ann asking if I could come.
Sister Christina responded right away saying YES!
I was both excited and terrified but decided to take the leap and visit All Saints for a more extended stay.
Since then, I resigned from my job where I’d been working as a fundraiser and event planner for 2.5 years, sublet the room I rent in the townhouse where I reside, and put the rest of my life “on hold” so I can commune with the Lord in a more meaningful, focused way to ask for his guidance and direction for the next steps in my life. I’m lifting everything up to heaven, trusting he will reveal his plans.
My visit has been absolutely delightful. I’m so thankful for All Saints. It is indeed holy ground and I’m learning to listen to God’s voice more attentively since arriving. The time I spend in prayer, silence, contemplation, and in community with the sisters is deeply enriching my life.
I will forever look back on this season and give praise and glory to God for this month observatory experience at All Saints. I’m so thankful he’s led me here!
Please pray for Virginia as she continues to discern her call from God. She is a real joy, enters into the life fully, loves the Lord, and has brought new energy into our Community.