My Vocational Journey: Sister Mirriam Wangúi Nduta

The earliest time I remember actively engaging in thoughts of being a Sister was when I was in my third year of high school. Back in the day, we had this trend where we wrote journals about our future aspirations, desires, and the likes. For fun, we had our friends write what their predictions about our future would be and vice-versa. When I circulated my book, it came back with “Sister” on the career prediction slot. My friends and I had a good laugh at this and eventually, I got them to cancel out Sister and replace it with something else. I was good at sports and enjoyed playing basketball so a future basket-baller was a good compromise. Needless to say, their first prediction struck a chord in me and, once in a while, I toyed with the idea but generally didn’t give it much thought. Fast forward to when I completed my high school education, I enrolled for a course in Information Technology, in a college owned and run by the Catholic Church (St. Patrick’s College), and luckily the Church was a few yards from my college and I would make it a habit to attend Mass daily during lunch break. I remember a friend asked me to accompany her to an acting audition appointment and I told her I would accompany her after Mass. She jokingly asked if I was planning on being a Sister, otherwise, why was I so obsessed with attending daily Mass? I let her in on my thoughts and asked her what her thoughts would be if I became a real Sister. This I asked because the thought of becoming a Sister was becoming more and more persistent but I kept brushing it under the carpet. I have an aunt who is a Sister of Nazareth and she happened to come home for holiday, I casually expressed my desire in joining the Religious Life.

She was very supportive and encouraged me to finish my education then the rest would follow. I graduated but immediately enrolled for another course in Mass Communication, but at a different university. I joined a government entity this time round (JKUAT – Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology). This was my attempt to “buy” more time to discern further if indeed I wanted to join Religious Life or not. During this time, I was elected as a youth secretary in my parish Church and, in this way, participated more in Church work. Hard as I tried to direct my thoughts from Religious Life, the desire continued to tug at my heart. I had no problem working for the Church, but as a Sister? It sounded a little extreme to me. Some days, the thoughts of becoming a Sister would fill me with a kind of inner joy and peace but other days, most days, they were filled with doubts and utter confusion. My biggest concern was that I would never have children of my own.

I am the first born in a family of two and there are twelve years between my brother and I. I remember jokingly telling my mom that I would have seven children because having a small family and with such a huge age gap wasn’t fun enough. If I entered the convent, that would mean that I wouldn’t even get to

have one child of my own! I wasn’t sure it was a sacrifice I was ready to make. But, God was patient with me. While I was in my third year at JKUAT, I got the chance to work at Kenya News Agency, where I was an Information Officer. Some of my stories were published in the local newspapers and as my career mapped out, I thought I was off the convent hook! But, they say God has a sense of humour and now I believe He truly does. I graduated in June of 2014 and in October the same year, I was in Harare, Zimbabwe for a Come and See program with the Sisters of Nazareth! I was meant to stay for three months but had to go back home after a month because my mom got sick and was in the hospital. It was agreed by the Sisters and I that after my mom was better, and I still felt the desire to serve God in a religious setting, I would be more than welcome to go back. So I travelled back to Kenya in November and luckily mom felt better and was discharged. At that same time, I was offered a job at a Micro-Finance company in their I.T. department and I took it. I worked for five months, while still keeping in touch with the Sisters in Harare. I left work on the 1st of May and travelled to Zimbabwe on the 4th to formally begin my Religious Formation.

On the 16th of June (which is the Feast Day of our Congregation), I was accepted as a Candidate and six months later as a Postulant on December 8th. The following year on 16th June, I was received as a Novice at our Mother House in London, England. I spent two years there learning more about Religious Life and discerning further if this was truly the road that God wanted me to take. In May 2018, after much deliberation and prayer, I took the vows of Chastity, Poverty and Obedience as a Sister of Nazareth. I am currently working with the children in Johannesburg, South Africa. At the moment we have thirty children; I asked God for seven, He gave me thirty (and counting). He moves whenever He wills, we just do our best to follow at speed.

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