Final Vows with the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon August 15, 1987


20 days till National Vocation Awareness Week

I remember 1987 like it was yesterday, a very special year in my life after making my final vow 30 day retreat the year prior in the Napa Valley in California.  I was so blessed to have taken part in that experience. A few of the Sisters, Brothers and Priests that made that retreat with me, joined me for my special day.   My family and friends were also there and that made for a remarkably great day that I will never forget.

Leading up to the day, the year prior, however, included much soul searching.  Was this what I wanted to do with the rest of my life?  To me a vow was a very important promise and especially one made to God.  Did I want to forego the opportunity to be married and have children?  That was a big one for me.  As it turned out, I got my share of time with my nieces and nephews and every one of them were a blessing to me.  God is not outdone in His generosity!

I have always known I made the right decision because the vocation I chose was one that amplified life for me.  I have been so blessed to live this life and come into contact with the hundreds of people I have come to know.

Our vocation is a very important decision.  More people do not answer the call to religious life than do.  If you are thinking this might be an option for you, do yourself a favor and explore it.

Photo: Left to Right: Fr. Louis Urbanski, Archbishop William Leveda (RIP), Fr. Willis Whalen (RIP), Fr. John Dunn (RIP).

Family Photo: David Polehn (Nephew), Melissa von Borstel (niece), Lee von Borstel (Brother), Kay von Borstel, (Sister), Linda Hawman von Borstel, Larry von Borstel (Brother), Bill Chambers, Karla von Borstel Chambers (Sister), Me, Karen von Borstel, (Sister), Top Dad and Mom Carl and Cynthia von Borstel

The Influencers in Our Lives

October 17, 2020

15 days till National Vocation Awareness Week

#9 in a series of 25 short stories

My parents and my grandmother at my first vows in 1982.

My Mom and my Grandmother were the two biggest influencers in my religious life.  My Mom was a convert to Catholicism and had been raised in the Church of the Brethren in Indiana.  Many of my family members from my Mother’s side come from various Protestant faiths and I have a lot of respect for their devoutness.  They are great people and I love them very much.  I make a trip back to Indiana to visit every year. 

I remember being a little girl and staying overnight at Grandma’s on a few occasions. I remember seeing her go to her room to go to bed and she got down on her knees and prayed the Rosary.  That image is still in my mind and I am sure I will carry it with me all my life.  My Mom, likewise, would read to us at night and made an effort to find good Christian reading material like the Bible.  I remember when she read a series from the Crusades.  Mom and I often talked about religious topics.

If you read one of my earlier short stories about the Holy Names Sisters teaching us our summer religion classes in Grass Valley, you will know I had set my mark to do what they were doing.  Mom knew I was interested in religious life as a young girl and I am amazed and grateful that she did so much to make sure I had the opportunity to see what it was all about.  When I was invited to a vow ceremony for example, she would make sure I got to go and often drove me the 3-hour journey to get there.

Looking back, my Mom was nurturing a vocation and she seemed to be doing innately.  She had no training in vocations, but the love of a Mother does those things.  She wanted me to know what opportunities existed for my life.

Time to Develop Talents

October 10, 2020

21 days till National Vocation Awareness Week

St. Mary of the Valley School Photo 1990

In 1982 I began teaching at St. Mary of the Valley High School while also attending Portland State University to get my fifth year and participating in formation classes.  I taught a couple of classes at the high school then went to PSU for the rest of the day until around 4:00 when I returned for classes at the convent.  I was a busy little “first professed” as I continued to learn the ropes.  I enjoyed teaching at the high school very much and could see myself full time in the future.  I really appreciated teaching at our community high school.

My main assignment was to teach religion and I found enjoyment in coaching the jv Softball team.  Prior to 1991, St. Mary of the Valley was an all-girl school which went co-ed and changed the name to Valley Catholic.  My school experience as a youth had been co-ed and I was more at home in that environment.  I think it is good for youth to be with the opposite gender at school while they have their feet under their parent’s roof.  There are a lot of lessons best learned at home.

I realized how fortunate I was to be called to religious life and what satisfaction I got out of it.  A religious who dedicates their life to Christ has the time to do things that a married person with the responsibilities of family would not have in many cases.  I realized the many talents God had given me and I had the time to develop them.

A Personal Note From Sr. Krista

Dear Readers

Thank you for following my BLOG.  You can expect to see Track and Field postings until I finish each of the individual events.  I am stretching it out this year to keep you coming back!

My life as a religious is very interesting because by the nature of being a religious, I am called upon to do many things and that is what I signed up for!

I will be going to Ontario, OREGON in June to teach a week of Religious Education classes to kids in the parish there.  I will take you with me and I hope you will look forward to the trip.  I grew up in a rural area of North Central Oregon and went to a Catholic mission church.  I consider myself a CCD vocation.  In those days Religious Education was known as CCD or Confraternity of Christian Doctrine!  Thats why it was CCD!!!  I hope you will join me on this trip June 15 though 19.

I have also served on our community leadership council these past 5 years.  My term comes to an end at the end of June when we install the new leadership team.  I will share that with you as well.

I appreciate it when you comment on my BLOGS because it lets me know you are there.  Don’t be afraid to say something! 🙂