Vocation Stories


Sr. Maria Rose Kelly, IHM

Is there any such thing as an "ordinary" vocation story? In many ways, mine seems so -- at least it doesn't seem unusual. But because this story is mine – and has formed the fabric of my life for these 50 years, it is the "treasure, hidden in a field" for me. I have just one precious life to live – so my vocation story - or yours --is not ordinary at all.

Though theologians would trace my vocation story to my Baptism and the other Initiation Sacraments of the Catholic Church, I trace the beginnings of my vocation story to the decision of my parents, Frank and Kitty Kelly, that my brothers and I would go to the newly-built St. Rose School just down the block from our home in Carbondale, PA.

I had gone to the wonderful Washington Public School from kindergarten through third grade –loving every minute of school – and already being pretty sure that I wanted to be a teacher just like my kindergarten teacher, Esther Cohen.

The move to St. Rose School opened my eyes to something I had never known about before –Sisters! It didn't take me long to transfer my very happy experience at the Washington School to St. Rose and to learn to deeply admire the Sisters who taught me there.

This is what I witnessed: Sisters who were happy being together and happy teaching us. Sisters who were excellent at what they did. Sisters who put themselves out to make us better students better people. Sisters who prayed together. And these Sisters asked us to help them with some school and church tasks like preparing the altars for Holy Thursday or putting up bulletin boards or counting the Sunday collection or doing some cleaning. Pretty ordinary stuff...but it taught me...

What I learned in my nine years at St. Rose – slowly, instinctively – was that I could be happy as a Sister.

What I'm deeply grateful to say today is: I am.

Sister Maria Rose currently serves on the faculty at Marywood University in Scranton, PA.

Sisters Rosemarie Gregorio, Maria Rose, Donna Korba and Ruth Harkins with
Marywood Students on a service trip.