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Testimonies of our Sisters
God calls us differently to serve Him. Each of us has her own “love story”.

Sr Bernada

sr_bernada"Happiness is to be found only in true faith in God." How true these words become for me, when I choose not what I want, but when I take what I am given.

I am a young adult in my twenties.  I grew up in Molsvlei, a small village in the Western-Cape.  In 2007 I came to Koelenhof, Stellenbosch, to work at the crèche run by the Oblate Sisters of St Francis de Sales.  I stayed with the Sisters to see how they lived their everyday lives and their lifestyle attracted me. In April 2008, peacefully, I decided to join them as a postulant to be formed as an Oblate Sister of St. Francis de Sales.

I have not always wanted to be a Sister, oh no! I was not the right person, possessing qualities, qualifications and attitudes required.  Did God call me?  My answer was NO.  Was I aware of my religious vocation?  Maybe, but I refused to accept and acknowledge. I wanted to stay in the world, to enjoy its pleasures and adventures.  I desired to get married and to have children. Once at school when I was asked for my future plans, “something” inside forced me to say: “I want to become a Sister”.  I did not accept this inner voice. I continued my life, making plans without God, enjoying every moment. Nevertheless, I felt uncomfortable and secretly I yearned for silence and total freedom of mind, body and soul.

Here I was, standing at the door of my future. I heard someone knocking, but I did not want to open. I knew the voice. I kept the secret of my heart and wished it could disappear. The more I resisted, the more it grew stronger.  To be freed from that voice I stopped praying in case I would surrender myself to God. I needed quiet time and Bible reading to reflect. It was through the Bible that I could calmly open myself to God and to His call for me.  

I let God be in charge of my life by giving myself to Him every day.  I believe that I am called to serve and to testify, I trust Him in everything. He knows better what is good for me and therefore let God be praised for evermore.  Amen.    

Sr Suzanne-Elizabeth

sr_suzanne-elizabethI come from a humble Colored Catholic family. My parents reared me in the Christian faith and their example and faith had a positive impact on me.

During my childhood, I have never cherished the idea of becoming an Oblate Sister of St. Francis de Sales. Church activities have never attracted me and I even thought that going to church was the most boring activity reserved to old people.

Nevertheless, at High School, it dawned on me that God was calling me to become an Oblate Sister. One night after study, on my way to my room I saw a picture of an unknown Sister. Every time I came across it, I looked at it without knowing who she was. One night I dreamt of her. The next day, stirred by my curiosity, I asked one of the sisters who this religious was. She told me that she was St Leonie Frances de Sales Aviat, Foundress of the Oblate Sisters.

After Matric I worked for two years in the crèche with the Sisters. During this time through prayer, discernment, and touched by the life and works of St. Francis de Sales through the “Salesbond” (Association of St. Francis de Sales), I discovered that I could fulfill our Lord’s call by joining the Oblate Sisters in 2007.

Currently in my second year of novitiate, when I look back at my vocation how it started, I feel happy. Therefore, I am grateful to God for His call. On my journey are many challenges. However, my daily prayer is to be who I am and to be always and everywhere a sign of love.

Sr. Joseph-Marguerite

sr_joseph-margueriteBorn of a Protestant family in a Protestant village, my first contact with Catholic Nuns was in March 1941 at the age of eleven, when I was sent to a Catholic Mission School in Matjieskloof.

The devotedness and loving care for the children awakened in me the desire to become also a Sister even though I was not Catholic. The years slipped by and my desire to become a Sister gradually vanished.  

Finally, at the age of eighteen my parents agreed that I convert to Catholicism, but the desire to become a nun did not return, although Bishop Thuneman and many different persons observed a vocation in me.  

However, God wanted me to follow Him in the religious life.  So, on 1 January 1956, when I woke up on that New Year’s morning, something inside me seemed to shake me and I had my answer.  In January 1957 I entered the Noviciate in Matjieskloof.

Sr. Josefa- Aloysia

sr_josefa-aloysiaSince the day of my First Communion I had the desire to enter the convent one day.  As I grew older it was just a thought pushed to the background.  I stayed near the Mission at Karasburg and was in contact with the Oblate Sisters and Fathers. At the Salesianum Secondary High School in Matjieskloof,  the Oblate Sisters still had a great influence on my life and I knew that I would join them one day.

My troubles began when I went to the St. Augustine Training College in Parow where I met the Holy Cross Sisters.  I started to know another Congregation and played with the idea of joining them after teaching for a few years.  While teaching I became acquainted with the MSC Sisters and once again my choice of a congregation became complicated.  I decided to give the idea a test by just being Miss Boys.

I told Father Graff and Father Fuchs about my doubts and they encouraged me to keep on praying.  No Oblate Sister of Karasburg knew anything about my plans for the future.  One day an Oblate Sister visited the Sisters at Karasburg and she was dressed in her grey religious habit.  She met the different classes and as soon as I saw her in that habit, I was struck. My decision was made: “I would like to be dressed like her.“ I started my correspondence with her and was now definitely ready to enter the Noviciat in Koelenhof.  It was difficult to be transferred as a teacher to the R.S.A., but at the end of the year everything was settled.  In January 1970 I joined the Oblate Sisters, accompanied by Father Fuchs and a few of my friends.

“Love to reaffirm your fidelity to God with the same enthusiasm and generosity which filled you, when you pronounce your Vows.  Each day repeat your “YES” to the God of love with joy and conviction.”  (John Paul II)