In the sixth and final contribution to our series exploring the rich paths taken by women Religious, Sr Therese Wong, a Franciscan Sister of the Renewal, explains why she left her journalism studies to share her faith, choosing a life of prayer, community, evangelisation and work with the poor
I think everybody today feels the worldly pressure of wanting to succeed and fit in, and I certainly started feeling that at high school. So I defined myself by my performance and what other people thought of me. And it was hard and exhausting. Like running on sand.
Then I went on a retreat called Capture My Heart. I was a freshman at Steubenville – a Franciscan university in the United States – and it was a women’s retreat, focused on identity. The whole point was – stop this striving and trying to prove yourself. You are daughters of God and you are loved. They brought us in front of the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and, for the first time, I experienced Jesus’ love for me not just as a saviour or a friend, but as a beloved. And that changed everything. It was like feeling a great warmth in my heart and it gave me such a sense of peace and stability – unlike the sand that I was always trying to run on – and that was such a release.
It made me want to share my faith and help other women find that freedom. So I changed my major from journalism to catechetics and began trying to live a sacramental life and spend more time with Jesus.