Sr Doris Khisa Wanyonyi, Fsp

Growing up as a little girl, I never dreamt of becoming a sister even though I interacted a lot with sisters since I studied in catholic schools run by them.

My desire to become a sister was kindled when I attended a thanksgiving mass of a sister at our parish.  I went to church like any other ordinary Sunday, little did I know that it was going to be the turning point of my life. During the entrance procession to the altar, I was struck by the sight of the sister who was dressed in white habit and looked so angelic that I felt I wanted to become a sister like her. However, it was during the mass that I deeply felt the Lord was calling me to become a sister. The experience was so intense that I could not contain it and found myself crying. I immediately made up my mind that when I complete high school, I will definitely become a sister. From that time onwards, I was resolute on becoming a sister and all my thoughts and plans were focused on pursuing this noble goal.

When I got home that evening, I shared my desire of becoming a sister with my mother who encouraged me but challenged me to work hard in school so as to qualify to join religious life. A year later, I completed my high school studies and excelled very well in my examination. I was very happy because I knew that I will now be able to join religious life. I applied to three different missionary congregations since I felt the desire to become a missionary sister. A week later, the vocation directress of the Daughters of St Paul replied to me. I was so excited and immediately made up my mind to follow this congregation because it was a sign for me that God wanted me to join this particular congregation. Moreover, I had studied in Christian religious education about St. Paul being a zealous missionary in evangelization of the word of God and I felt this would be a good congregation for me. Immediately I began my correspondence with the vocation promoter who helped me to know more about the life and mission of the Daughters of St. Paul in the church.

 All this while, I had not yet informed my father about my desire to become a sister. Coincidentally the day that I finally gained courage to inform him of my plans was the same day he had come home with my university admission letter to pursue a course in banking and finance. After sharing with him my desire he seemed disappointed but he said if that was my heart’s desire, I can go ahead and pursue it. That was the happiest day of my life because I was granted permission to pursue my vocation in life.

I continued with communication with the vocation directress and I had opportunities to attend retreats and come see program at the convent in Nairobi so as to reflect and discern better my vocation. A year later, on 09/09/2007 I was admitted to join the congregation. I began my initial formation which lasted for five years and ended with my first profession in 2012. After my first profession I worked as a missionary in Nigeria and Uganda for three years. Thereafter, I was sent to Kenya for my systematic studies in Spirituality and religious formation. After completing my studies, I was sent to Rome to prepare for my final vows and on 09/09/2018 exactly 11 years since I joined the congregation, I made my perpetual profession at my home parish, the same place where I received my calling during the thanksgiving mass. After my final profession, I worked in Nairobi Kenya for two years and later on I was sent to Zambia where I am currently working.

 My experience as a Daughter of St. Paul has been wonderful because I have experienced the love and faithfulness of the Lord  throughout my vocational journey. I feel happy and fulfilled in living my Pauline vocation and mission. By carrying out our mission of evangelization  using the means of social communication we communicate the Gospel message of salvation to everyone. For me Prayer and community life have been my pillars in living my Pauline vocation and mission.

Therefore, I encourage all the young women out there who feel the Lord is calling them  to religious life not to shun away but respond with faith and love to this noble vocation with the assurance that God who has planted the seed of vocation in you will accompany and sustain you in your journey up to the end.

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