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Sister Audrey Frances Moran

"Mom, the most amazing thing has just happened to me. I know exactly what I'm going to do with my life, and I'm so happy! I'm going to be a religious sister! Thank you so much for raising me Catholic! You're wonderful!"

Four days after a very surprising evening in the Catholic Campus Ministry's chapel, I wrote an email with that basic message to my completely unsuspecting mom, and others to my dad and two younger sisters. I was 19, and a sophomore at Mary Washington College (now the University of Mary Washington).


Have you ever met a group of people who are really on fire with love for God? Who don’t stick out from anyone else—except for being absolutely radiant?

That’s what the students at the Catholic Student Association (CSA) of Mary Washington College were like when I hauled in my move-in boxes. I had never met such a fun, joyful, generous, and prayerful community! Even someone as cynical and skeptical as I was can be touched by a group like that one, and begin to “really” believe.

My family raised me Catholic, a gift for which I will always be grateful, but as a college freshman I had not fully embraced my faith yet. I could not even guarantee that I would continue to go to Church. God graciously showed me His face in the students, in our wonderful campus ministers, in the answers I received to my many questions.

So that’s how God first began to have His proper place in my life—at the center, that is, rather than on the sidelines. Only then was I able to hear the Lord calling me to the religious life, and that is why I have to start at the CSA when people ask me about my vocation. It’s also through the CSA that I met one of our sisters, because she sings for Mass with the campus ministry Folk Group. I joined the Folk Group, and I started asking her about what religious life really is, and about how you know whether God is “really” calling you, and much more! As we spoke, I also fell “in love” with our congregation, and with Salesian spirituality.

Currently, I am in my 3rd year of temporary vows. It will be 2 more years before I can profess perpetual vows. I am working on a teaching degree at DeSales University, which is run by the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. I also assist there with the student Center for Discernment.