"I left my life as a dentist to embrace the world with prayer."
My answer is: There are many more talented and skilled people who can do this work in the world, but not many are called to be contemplatives. As a matter of fact, it takes much courage to respond to this call. I was very happy in my life and loved the people I worked with and the patients I served. But,deep inside of me there was an emptiness, a thirst I cannot explain. I felt incomplete. The satisfaction I gained from my job was only transitory.
I suppose my journey into contemplative life began when I was a very young girl. I grew up in the church, it was where my mother worked, and it was like a second home, until I left for college.
When I was away at school, I treasured my independence very much. I went to parties and enjoyed going with my friends on road trips, got involved in choir and other activities, and studied long nights. I even began dating and became involved in a relationship during this busy time. I travelled to Barcelona, Sweden, Denmark and Norway! At the same time the question about a possible religious vocation was intensified. But I started to get discouraged and looked in another direction: maybe I am called to be a missionary after all, and even to have a family. Meanwhile, I continued with my studies and enrolled in dental school.
After passing the dental boards I found three part-time jobs, then decided to look for job opportunities in the Continental US. I moved from my native Puerto Rico to the mountains of North Carolina and became a travelling dentist. We had a mobile unit and provided care to children who did not have access to a private dentist. I loved going to Head Start, working with the little ones..all kind of bites and crying …. but you get a lot of smiles, too. It was a large tractor trailer, three dental chairs, with a laboratory in the back. I still keep in touch with my former boss. He is a very fervent Lutheran. It took me two years to finally decide that religious life was what God wanted of me. The questions were where and how fast can I pay off my student loans?
I looked at many different active congregations, which I thought at first would be good, because I could use my professional skills. Nothing appealed to me, so I looked on the internet. And then, there it was: Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters....I thought: “Adoration, that is something I like.” I clicked and the first thing I saw was: Pink!!! “Is this approved by the Church?”
After visiting their web stie, I could not stop thinking about the Pink Sisters, so I went to Philadelphia and met with Sister Superior....when I prayed in their Chapel, I knew the Lord wanted me here.
There is this song, “Pescador de Hombres”, known in English as “Lord, you have Come to the Seashore”. This song, it made me cry. I was reading the last chapter of John, the disciples on the beach. The Lord says, “Come follow me.” At this moment I look up at the monstrance on the altar and I see the host, and I notice the triangle surrounding it. I couldn’t believe it was the dental symbol. I suddenly knew....this is where the Lord wants me!