October 21, 2020

8 days till National Vocation Awareness Week

#17 in a series of 25 short stories

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

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 (Nephew), Melissa (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)

Finding the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon

My Journey to Religious Life by Sister Krista von Borstel – in preparation for Vocation Awareness Week I will write 25 short stories that paint a picture. 1 of 25

VOCATION APPRECIATION WEEK November 1-7, 2020 Countdown 25 days to go…I am going to start with my own vocation story. I grew up in Sherman County in Oregon (North Central) the second smallest county in Oregon next to Wheeler! I remember having a very serious religious experience as a very young person where I realized how short life is and how important it is to make the most of it. This inspiration hit me at my grandfathers funeral, it was also the first funeral I remember. About two years later I went to my first “CCD summer classes” taught by Sisters of the Holy Names in Grass Valley. I knew at that moment (third grade) that I would be doing that some day. Still amazed by that insight. I liked what they were doing and I was inspired to want to do it too. The thought lay on my mind the rest of my youth and through college. Though I dated in college, I knew I did not want to get married because I wanted to enter religious life. I had not yet found the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon. That happened my junior year when I met Sister Maureen Kalsch. We were taking a class together and met one day as we were checking our grades. I invited her to come to my sorority (Sigma Kappa) for dinner and she accepted. Later she invited me to make a retreat in Sublimity (near OSU) where I did go and meet several SSMO’s (Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon) Finally I was invited to make a trip to the Motherhouse in Beaverton and made another retreat. I loved it! When I finished college my Senior year, I had a job offer with Boeing which I had planned to accept in order to pay off my college debt ($2,000). I went to the convent and met with Sr. John Therese to tell her I was going to Seattle and accept the job with Boeing. Before I left the convent that day, I was going to enter the convent in February! A neighbor farmer, and close family friend, John Schadewitz, who was Baptist I might add, handed me a check for $2,000 to pay off my debt and the rest is history. I entered the convent February 3, 1980 with the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon