Staying with the Church | Sr. Mary Ignatius, O.P.
Born Catholic, Sister Mary Ignatius saw many of her family fall away from the Church. She struggled with her own faith in high school and college yet felt drawn to Eucharistic Adoration, even though she didn’t understand the true meaning. She learned much about the Catholic Faith from what she read and was inspired by St. Ignatius of Loyola. Encouraged by a priest, she looked into the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist and felt immediately at home. She soon joined the community; her vocation story reminds us of the value of following God’s plan.
Sr. Mary Ignatius: My family went through a lot of transitions [as I was growing up]. There was a lot of exploration with the Faith and a lot of different opinions. I saw a lot of suffering in my family members and confusion and not having the fullness of the Truth in Christ.
Sr. Joseph Andrew Bogdanowicz: Did you remain faithful to the Catholic Faith through this? How did you react to the confusion within your own family?
Sr. Mary Ignatius: I had experienced a deeper conversion. I saw people who loved the Lord and loved their Catholic Faith. I didn’t understand it, but I was attracted. Around that time, I started praying the rosary every day. When our Lady comes in, she makes beautiful things happen. Shortly after that, I started going to Eucharistic Adoration.
As I started going, I started to feel a desire in my heart for Religious Life, but I had no example of that around me.
I started looking into communities, and the Dominican charism drew me a lot. I loved the emphasis on the spiritual hunger and the spiritual maladies that are in the world today. I had a great desire to do something that would bring the Truth to people and the healing that comes with Truth.
At the time that I went to Creighton University, I had gone into a period of spiritual crisis where I was struggling emotionally and spiritually with hope, not believing that God loved me personally.
I needed somebody to help me sort through the things that I was struggling with. Early on, I met Father Andrew Jaspers, SJ [a Jesuit scholastic at the time]. He was the person that God put into my life to clarify for me that God does love [each of us] personally, and He’s never going to give up on [us], and He’s never going to change. He has this unchanging mercy and love that nothing we can do can diminish that. I learned a lot about Who Jesus is through St. Ignatius of Loyola, and that prepared me for my vocation.
Sr. Joseph Andrew Bogdanowicz: When did your vocation start brewing inside your heart?
Sr. Mary Ignatius: That year was when I started thinking seriously about it. I now understood more about God’s mercy and that a vocation is always His initiative. We are weak, poor creatures, and He does this, and it’s a grace we receive.
One day, I came across Sr. Teresa Benedicta; she was doing a show for children called Truth in the Heart [on EWTN]. I was absolutely in awe of her, totally transfixed. I thought, “I like these Sisters.”
It wasn’t until late May that I found our community online and started looking into it, and I couldn’t believe it. Everything that I read on the website felt like this embrace. These are my Sisters! I wrote through the website, “This is who I am. Do you have any advice?”
I remember [speaking with Sr. Teresa Benedicta]. She emphasized that we have Eucharist Adoration every day and that we have a special devotion to the Blessed Mother, and that was important to me. She also said that we had a missionary spirit and that our community was forming Sisters to go and do great things in the world for the Church and for God.
She invited me up for “pre-postulant week” and I came [this is a week for young women who are seriously considering entering]. I thought, “This is it.” We were praying the rosary, and when we finished, I said to one of the Sisters, “I’m going to ask to enter.” That was when that final grace came in through Mary. It started with her. It keeps going with her.
Sr. Joseph Andrew Bogdanowicz: Sister Mary Ignatius, thank you. It is a beautiful story. Things could’ve been so different, and all we can do is be humbled by the goodness of God and thank Him with our entire lives that at those moments we had the grace to say, “Yes” to the divine plan. You’ll never be wrong. May God bless you and thank you, again, Sister, for joining us. Thank you to our audience for being a part of our community through these broadcasts, The Truth Shall Set You Free. God bless you.