One Step Closer, One More To Go

So much excitement in recent days!  The spring class of The Labouré Society finished strong, raising approximately $270,000 for vocations!  Nine of my fellow aspirants will be entering formation this summer and fall because of the generosity of the Body of Christ!  Deo gratias! 

On Friday, I received word from TLS that a grant award was made for me in the amount of $12,000.  I am so grateful to TLS, its board, staff, and all those who support their work!  Such a big step closer to entering the Dominican cloister!!  These funds will be held, along with the $35,000 from the Winter class, until I enter.  Again, I am so grateful to be one step closer, and for all your prayers and support.

In reflecting on the first part of the year and my work with TLS, I am filled with gratitude at the experiences I had, and at the same time, am renewed in my commitment.  The biggest change came with the sale of my parents’ house and the recent move.  Not having their new house finished yet, my parents decided to stay in their camping trailer.  I decided to pray and look for a room or small apartment elsewhere. 

Before I was able to find a new place, I left for Washington State to be present for my sister’s graduation from nursing school and the birth of my newest niece.  I had a wonderful visit with my sister and her family.  When I came back, I jumped into packing and a small studio apartment opened up in the home of parishioners at one of the Anchorage parishes!  We spent that week packing and moving.  Then last week, I unpacked and settled in. 

So much excitement and change since February, when the first preparations of the house began!  Grateful as I am for the past few months spent helping my family, I know God is giving me this season in my own space for a reason – so I can focus more fully on the work He has for me.  Focus on reaching out to others and inviting them to help build the body of Christ by supporting vocations with their prayers, time, talent and treasure, and being available to support them as well with my prayers, and however else God calls me to be available. 

I was reminded on Sunday by Father in his homily, there is always a temptation, but particularly this time of year, to relax in seeking God’s will and practicing the faith.  A temptation to think, “It can wait until after summer.”  Last night, I flipped open my Bible and was reminded of this again when a passage from the gospel of Luke caught my eye.  In it, Jesus left the upper room with His disciples and they went to a garden on the Mount of Olives.  Jesus instructs His disciples, “Pray that you would not enter into temptation.”  He then steps away from them a small distance and prays on His own, entering into His agony.  When He returns to His disciples, He finds them asleep.  “Why do you sleep?  Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus preached on the importance of staying vigilant, prepared and persevering.  It is tempting to become comfortable in our blessings, forgetting they are gifts from God, entrusted to us for the purpose of building up the Kingdom of God.  Conversely, in times of trial, stress and uncertainty, we can seek escape and comfort.  We forget to listen for God’s voice and instead do what seems easy or logical to us, which can lead us into greater misery.  As we learn from Elijah, God’s voice is as a whisper and we must seek Him in stillness to hear Him.  And when we do hear Him, we must persevere in faith, though it may seem to us He has stepped away from us.  We must not be caught asleep in our faith by the devil, who “prowls about the world, seeking the ruin of souls.”  Nor must we be caught unaware by Jesus, Who said He would return “like a thief in the night.”

I have one more class term of working with The Labouré Society that has already started and ends December 31st.  For me to enter formation, I need to resolve approximately $57,000 in student loans I have remaining.  I am joined by my fellow aspirants; some of them are returning aspirants like me.  Others are participating in their first class.  The current TLS aspirant class of 10 men and women have a common goal of inviting others to help foster vocations like ours, vocations that would be lost without the prayers, hard work, and generous support of TLS and its benefactors.  Please pray for us, that we would not fall into the temptation of discouragement and that we would persevere in our vocations.  And please continue to follow and share our stories.  They are your stories as well.

We want to pray for you too!  If you have any prayer requests, please feel free to contact me; I will gladly remember you and your intentions in my prayers.

Peace of Christ be with you!


  1. […] of my friends, Tara Clemens is pursuing a call to be a contemplative Dominican nun. The vocation sounds boring at first, but […]

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