Fairfield woman becomes religious sister

Contributed
Sister Meg Earsley poses for a picture last month after entering the novitiate of the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, based in La Crosse, Wis.

By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger

For Sister Meg Earsley, the call to religious life was unexpected. The 40-something woman had a career she loved, a house in the country “and many other things a successful business professional would need. And yet, I realized that it was no longer where I should be.”

She was praying before the Blessed Sacrament during adoration at St. Mary Parish in Fairfield — her church home for 11 years — when she received an “internal knowing” that she should become a sister. “I remember laughing because I hadn’t ever really known sisters and I wasn’t even quite sure what it meant to be a sister or even if there were many around anymore.”

She let the thought percolate for several months. “After it persisted, I decided I needed to start learning and discussing it with people.”

She reached out to close Catholic friends and her pastor, Father Nick Adam. She researched communities online and filled out a profile on vocationnetwork.org that indicated 250 communities that might be a good match. But the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, based in La Crosse, Wis., stood out. “It seemed God was pointing a neon sign to them saying, ‘This is the right one!’”

The meld of sacred traditions and modern lives drew her in. She loved the idea of perpetual adoration and admired the sisters’ work on social justice issues. After visiting the convent, “it was clear that they were a joy-filled, vibrant community of sisters, all unique and individual but together in community.”

Last month, FSPA welcomed Sr. Earsley into the novitiate. During this phase, she will spend time learning more about the church, the FSPA constitution, vows and integrating Franciscan values. “It’s an intense discernment time,” said Sister Corrina Thomas, co-minister of incorporation who oversees the FSPA novitiate in Chicago where Sr. Earsley now resides. “We are deeply grateful for the blessing she is to us and to FSPA leadership and the community who are supporting and praying her into this new and exciting journey.”

Sr. Earsley is grateful for the support she received from the Fairfield parish, both before and after her initial discernment. “The ongoing faith of the community and its programs brought a lot of enrichment to my spiritual life. … I received great support in my faith and fulfillment in my (music and faith formation) ministries throughout my time there. Fr. Nick really helped me as I discerned with ideas, questions and guidance throughout the process.”


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