February 12, 2012.
) Sister Rose Mary Esseff
says, in a way she owes her vocation to Elvis Presley.
She was born in Washington 40 years ago. In school, she studied music, and planned on getting married and having a family. During her last year at the university she wanted to visit the convent of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in Nashville, Tennessee
. But she had no money and no way to get there.
It just so happened, that a friend of hers was planning on visiting Graceland, where Elvis Presley
, the King of Rock and Roll is buried. She offered to take Mary to the convent because it was along the way. After her visit she decided to join this community of 270 sisters.Sister Rose Mary
Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia“The religious life, a vocation to religious life is a mystery really because it requires a sacrifice of something very natural and very good which is the married life and the family. But in the religious life, Jesus calls you to something deeper, to imitate Him in the most perfect way.”
At first it was something of a culture shock
, since she couldn't make phone calls or watch television whenever she wanted. The congregation has schools across the world, and her workload wasn't light. When it comes to obeying her superiors
, she says it's not much of a challenge. Sister Rose Mary
Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia“The obedience is not an obstacle, it's not a burden. It's actually freedom. Because you let go all of the things that prevent you from doing exactly what God wants you to do in this present moment.”Mario Ortega
was born in Spain. He's been a priest for 15 years. He studies communication in Rome and he says he owes his vocation to John Paul II
and a life changing event at his university. Fr. Mario Ortega
Secular Institute Servi Trinitatis“My decision coincided with a beautiful event in Spain that was the World Youth Day in 1989 in Santiago de Compostela. It seemed to me that somehow the pope was saying to me: 'Don't be afraid to be saints, don't be afraid to give your life to Christ.”
His family was surprised by his decision, but when they saw he was happy, they felt proud. He has already worked in two dioceses and different parishes, in addition to his military service. He has also worked as a professor of religion and journalism. For 22 years, he's been a religious for Servi Trinitatis
, a secular institute created thirty years ago. Its members are consecrated men and women, priests and lay people, who help others in their vocation, assist in parishes and serve as missionaries.Fr. Mario Ortega
Secular Institute Trinitatis Servi “There are many charisms, as we call it in the life of the Church. Many different charisms but they all converge on the same thing: a direct and clear testimony of Christ. Because the consecrated life means to get to the bottom of the specific requirements of baptism by a new consecration.”
In the most unexpected way, Sister Rose Mary and Father Mario found their callings, proving once again that one never knows what they will find at the end of a road.