On Wednesday, August 22, 2012, the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge celebrated Mass at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Wake Forest and gave a special blessing to Mae Siggins, a St. Catherine parishioner who will be entering the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor, MI. Concelebrating with the Bishop were Fr. Philip Tighe, Pastor of St. Catherine, and Fr. Ned Shlesinger, Diocesan Director of Vocations.
Ms. Siggins said she first felt the call to religious life when she was a high school freshman. “I felt a call in my heart,” she said, “asking, ‘Will you be Mine?’ but I pushed it away for about two years. I was scared, and really torn because I wanted to follow it, but I also wanted to be married and have children.”
A change came last year, when Ms. Siggins attended the Steubenville High School Youth Conference in Atlanta. “The conference opened my heart to the call,” she said. “It set me free from everything I was afraid of.”
Asked why she chose the Ann Arbor Congregation, Ms. Siggins said, “Well, I’m kind of a bookworm, I love to study, and I come from a large family [She has five siblings.], so I love kids. And the charism of the Sisters I’m joining is teaching from kindergarten through eighth grade, so it was a good fit for me.”
The most difficult part of her decision, she said, will be being away from her family: “I’ve never been away from them for more than a week.” The most exciting part? “Having the opportunity to give myself totally to Jesus, after all He’s done for me.”
Ms. Siggins attended St. Thomas More Academy and was also home schooled. Her favorite saints are St. Catherine of Siena and St. Gemma Galgani.
In his homily, Bishop Burbidge spoke of the call to religious life or Priesthood, and called Ms. Siggins’ openness to her vocation a blessing for her parish and for the Diocese. Speaking to students in attendance from St. Thomas More Academy and from St. Catherine School, he said, “The question to ask is never, ‘What am I going to do with my life?’ but ‘What does God want me to do?’ If you are open to His answer, nothing is impossible.”
Above: Bishop Michael F. Burbidge blessing Ms. Mae Siggins during Mass at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Wake Forest. Click photo to view larger.
Below: Mae Siggins, left, who will be departing in a few days to enter Religious Life, and her family attending Mass at which she received a special blessing from Bishop Burbidge. Click photo to view larger.