Vocation Stories


Sr. Mindy Welding, IHM

I hear the question, “Why”? a lot from Young Adults these days. It seems to me to be a start to the deeper questioning of ‘Why do I do what I do?’ It’s not just a question raised to me about being a religious sister committed to a Congregation of women for a lifetime; it seems to be a question raised for each individual who asks the questions, What do I want to do? Why do I want to do that? Why do I do what I do? Why do YOU do what you do? The call is deeper, I believe, than just doing….it’s ‘being”. One of my favorite quotes from the movie “FISH” is a statement made by one of the fish mongers in the famous Seattle Fish market; he proclaims, “Who are you being while you’re doing what you’re doing?”. Ah….now THAT is a question to live into! That is a question that catches me! That is a question I want to ponder for the rest of my life. This is the question that grabs the young adults I work with everyday.

Mindy Fran and Shannon Kowalski

My vocation story has been built on relationship, trust, mystery and the deeper question of ‘Why do I do what I do?’ and ‘Who am I being while I’m doing what I’m doing?’ God has been calling me for a long time. I just never recognized it or never chose to hear it as deeply at times in my life. There’s always something outside of myself that calls for my attention – ministry, a friend’s need, a new project or event, a service day, a student’s life ‘falling apart’ – that’s what I do: attend to the outside. But if I stop and have quiet, I have to ask WHY do I do that? And, more importantly, WHO AM I WHEN I DO “IT”?? This is the foundation of my vocation story. In a growing relationship with God that never ends, I have seen how God has called me through relationships with other people; by being ME.

It is the call to grow into the best me, the best human, the best Mindy possible and I can only do that by having a relationship with myself, with others, and with God. When I decided to listen to those relationships that drove me to DO ministry, listen to students, help a friend, create service projects, plan prayer and liturgical events, have game or movie nights at 10:00 pm, it was God who was whispering to me long ago….you do it for ME. That’s the WHY. AND, you are being the true YOU who I have called you to be. God has called me to the “more” of life than just working, having friends, meeting new people, and going on adventures. I am drawn to share in this life of love and mystery, a journey of understanding the compassionate, challenging God who invites me to live with response to life.

I used to look for things or places or groups of people I could “fit in” with. A vocation calls you to be in places and in groups of people who fit into you – because God made you who you are: unique, loved, creative, genuine, special. You never have to ‘fit’ into someone else’s mold. A true vocation allows you to be who you are with all your gifts, talents, struggles and challenges. That is why I am an IHM sister. That is why I continue to be an IHM sister and I deeply believe that inviting you into this life is worth every minute of existence. Yes, religious life is a conundrum to many – you can see by the numbers – but I believe that it is a life that is beautiful and adventurous and challenging and rewarding and filled with opportunities to grow and learn and live with others who value the same. We don’t all do it the same way but the question remains….Who are you being while you’re doing what you’re doing? I’m Mindy, I’m I.H.M., and I fit into this. Do you? Come and see!

Sister Mindy is currently the IHM Congregation Vocations Director at the IHM Center in Scranton, PA.

RevBrian-Mindy Welding
Pictured: Sister Mindy and her brother, Father Brian Welding