Mother Angelica - Early Adulthood and Religious Vocation

Early Adulthood and Religious Vocation

After graduating from high school in 1941, Rita tried many odd jobs. She began working at Timken Roller Bearing Company. Following work each day, she would stop at a local parish and pray the stations of the cross. She regularly attended Mass.

One evening in the summer of 1944, Rita stopped at a church to pray. Kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament, Rita felt God was calling her to be a nun. She sought guidance from a local parish priest who encouraged her to begin visiting convents. Her first visit was to the Sisters of St. Joseph in Buffalo, New York. This active order felt, however, that Rita was better suited for a contemplative order. She also visited Saint Paul's Shrine of Perpetual Adoration, a facility operated by an order of cloistered contemplative nuns, located in Cleveland, Ohio. When visiting this Order, Rita felt as if she were at home. The Order accepted her as a postulant, asking her to enter on August 15, 1944.

The one heartache that Rita suffered was leaving her mother, who was very much opposed to her daughter's pursuing the religious life. So Rita secretly planned her departure. On August 14, she wrote her mother a letter. When Mae found it on the morning of August 15, Rita had already arrived at her destination. In part the letter read: "When you receive this letter, I will be in Cleveland. I have entered the Adoration Monastery at 40th and Euclid. You know it better as St. Paul's Shrine.... Something happened to me after my cure. What it was, I don't know. I fell completely in love with Our Lord. To live in the world for these past nineteen months has been very difficult. I love you very much and I have not forgotten what you have done for me. Please trust Him ... I ask your blessing that I may reach the heights I desire. I love you very much."

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