Many Are Called

Father John, her favorite parish priest and regular confessor, was an obvious choice from whom to request a college recommendation.

Church and school  were the heart and soul of her world, augmenting perfectly the love and support she received, unquestioningly, from her family.  Her dependence on and trust in her spiritual teachers, had made a deep impression, turning her thoughts towards a religious vocation.

There was no higher calling.  But had she been called, or was she feeling an emotional response because she so admired the Sisters who’d guided her since Kindergarten? These were noble and perfect women, who had chosen to devote themselves to God; to be the Brides of Christ.  How wonderful that seemed, presenting an idyllic life of prayerful purpose in the fulfillment of God’s plan for her.

Then one day, her life-view changed!  She attended an Engineering Career Day, and though previously, she hadn’t even been aware of engineering as a career choice, she now saw it as a perfect way to apply her ability in the sciences for the benefit of humankind.  Suddenly, her thoughts of becoming a ‘sister-nurse’  were supplanted with exciting visions of applying her talents in a very different way.

After much soul-searching, and with the encouragement of her family, she gradually turned away from thoughts of a religious vocation to what some may have considered to be a less noble path.  She found a local engineering school that accepted women (unusual in the early sixties), where she could use her state scholarship to major in Chemical Engineering.

That day, as she sat waiting for Father  in the rectory, she was excited and proud. Though there was a tinge of guilt hiding in the back of her conscience, she was comfortable with her chosen path, one that would lead her to her marriage and motherhood – her new vocational goal.

Later, walking home alone, she pondered his words: “Are you doing this for God or for yourself?”


Footnote, January 21, 2014:   After having written this piece in response to Trifecta challenge*, I launched a series called “The Engineer’s Journal”, intended  as a retrospective collection, reflecting my experiences associated with having become a Chemical Engineer and subsequently a business executive, in a traditionally male profession. I now add this post to that collection.

*( week’s word is:  PATH

3a : course, route  b : a way of life, conduct, or thought

12 Comments on “Many Are Called

  1. Oh, this is a true story – that makes it even more interesting to me. Amazing path change! I’m glad you can look back and see that you made the right choice 🙂


  2. so few are fortunate enough to get to do what they want as a career… if one finds a calling or passion, it’s wonderful to be able to follow it. very nice write!


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