Sister Lorraine Theresa Akal Story

Sister Lorraine Akal Story

Sister Lorraine Theresa Akal Story

My name is Sister Lorraine Theresa Akal, and this is my story. 

I am a South African who was born in KwaZulu-Natal. And as the saying goes: “We do not choose God; instead, God chooses us.” 

The first inclination of my vocation was after my 21st birthday when I felt the need to move from Durban to Cape Town. I had been working for several years for a Shipping Company and continued working for them in their Cape Town branch. It was not long before I joined Arthur Murray Dance Studio in the Cape, and for some months, thoroughly enjoyed my dancing. At this time, I lived at Villa Maria Girls Hostel in 1966, run by the Schoenstatt Sisters, with a short 15 minute walk to work. 

That same year I took ill in July, and I was in bed for several days. I became very conscious of something taking place within me, and this intense desire to serve the Lord. ‘Could this be true?’ I said to myself in shock. As the days passed, the feelings became a reality, and so my journey began. 

I entered the Sisters of Nazareth in Melbourne, Australia, in 1967. It took some time to adjust to this new way of life that I felt this intense calling to having worked for eight years. To this day, I have never looked back. I celebrated my Golden Jubilee on the first of May 2019, and I thank the Lord for walking this path with me. 

I have had the privilege of working in all of the Nazareth Houses in the African Region, except our Port Elizabeth House. In these years, I’ve had many experiences and feel genuinely content, having shared my time caring for the underprivileged children, deprived of parental love. Ten years of my life were in Formation, and I had to rely on the Lord’s strength and grace to accept this task. Little did I realize that I was growing spiritually, not only nourishing those young ladies in my care but also felt nourished by the blessings and graces that came from above.

For the remainder of my Religious Life, I was given the office of leadership in Community. My vocation to serve the Lord is a Divine calling and a gift from God. It is also a free choice and an invitation to come closer to Him by embracing all people. It is an unconditional love reaching out to those in need and letting them feel God’s love. 

I now reside at Nazareth House Harare. Called to be a Sister of Nazareth, I live in Community with my Sisters, and through them have grown in relationship and union with the Lord. I first came here in 1997 for a period of 10 years, and have since returned. At Nazareth House, the Sisters of Nazareth continue to care for the aged and the sick. This dedication is enriched by their love for God and His people. 

I am grateful to Victoire Larmenier, Our Foundress, for the beautiful heritage left to me and my fellow Sisters. I want to follow Victoire’s vision and mission and keep her spirit alive. 

I know the future of Religious Life is in the hands of Our Lord, and I recall the words of Jesus, “the harvest is great, but the laborers are few.”

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