The story of how I met Mikayla is a profound one. We were both attending college at Colorado State University and going to Mass at the same student parish. At that point I had recently dropped out of school to choose religious life; and a few weeks after I found myself going up to a town in the mountains of Colorado called Estes Park to help lead a retreat for 75+ college students from Colorado State. Most were already Catholic, and those who were not, after the retreat experience (these retreats took place once every semester) would often convert to Catholicism, and it was a beautiful thing to witness.
On this retreat I was asked to give a talk on Our Lady (you can only imagine how excited I was to talk about that topic). I remember seeing this young woman in the crowd as I was giving the talk. You know when you see someone and something, probably the Holy Ghost, is telling you “you need to be friends with this person”? This is what happened with Mikayla; the entire retreat following that talk on Mary, we never had the chance to formally meet. I know we both wanted to; it just was not the time. The women at the particular table, another friend of mine and I were leading, did not have her assigned to our table. It just was not God’s timing… yet.
When the retreat was over and we made it back to Fort Collins, the weeks following I was riding my bike away from the Church and she was passing me; she stopped and waved (even though we did not know each other formally yet) and due to the traffic and me being on my way somewhere, again, it did not work out to be introduced. One of the missionaries on campus told me one day, “there is this really sweet girl Mikayla who wants to meet you” and FINALLY it happened. We did not just become friends, we became sisters. Mikayla is a twin, but we shared a different kind of a sisterly bond. It was rooted in Christ and His Mother, and we have stayed linked since 2015. When I entered Carmel, she wrote me; when I left and chose the hermit call, she donated financially every single month.
So…. you can only imagine my joy when she wrote me and said she was accepted into the Marian Sisters of Sants Rosa and will be entering on the feast of Our Lord’s Transfiguration, this August 6th, 2022. Mikayla was a teacher, and I so am excited that she will be able to carry that over as the Marian Sisters are teachers. We NEED sisters in the classroom again, do we not? Look how many nuns have been cleared out of the classrooms since Vatican II. Think about it… in Therese’s time homeschooling was unheard of because our precious sisters were the HEART of the classroom while the mothers were the HEART of the home.
I am so immensely proud of you, Mikayla and I pray that your vocation, that is so precious in the Heart of Holy Mother Church, will blossom and that other young and beautiful women like you will follow you. After all, “after her shall virgins be brought to the King”. Of course, that verse is typically applied to Our Dear Lady, but I want to apply it to Mikayla today because she has a great love for Mary. Mikayla, no matter where we are in this life, we will have all eternity to be together. As Saint Therese’s siblings would tell each other: “in heaven”.