Hospital Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis

Sister M. Rita Chrzanowska

Often, when I meet people, I hear the question, "How did it happen that a sister entered the Order?” Hearing this question many times, I myself began to ask Jesus about the moments when He called me stronger to Him. When my mother was very much involved in the life of the Church, I was experiencing my teenage rebellion, and I wasn’t interested in what God wanted from me. She made a pilgrimage to Częstochowa and I was glad that I had time off for a few days. My mum once persuaded me to go to a Friday prayer in our parish church where a group of teenagers sang. It turned out that they were accompanied by our Sister Franciszka who invited me to the meeting.

And so, the adventure with our Congregation began. I started attending the retreats in Ołdrzychowice and getting to know the life of my sisters from a close distance. I was struck by the joy, openness and closeness to God that emanated from them. There was a desire in me to live as they did but it seemed impossible to me. It was just before my high school leaving exam when this thought returned to me. One evening I went with a friend to enjoy myself. She was dancing, and I was sitting for 3 hours watching the young people having fun. At one point something shouted in me: "I want more! There must be something more!” And as a response I recalled psalm 16: " I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night, my heart also instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken”. I understood that I was waiting for a "prince" to ask me to dance, and he had already come to me. When my mother heard that I was entering the order, there was silence which seemed to last forever, and later her words: "Well, we have nothing to talk about”. The time before entering was a great test of faith for me because the whole family started to persuade me to give up my decision. Today I know it was a time to “clear” my decision.

Although 9 years have passed since I joined the Order, of the whole family only my grandmother is in constant contact with me. But God always has the best plan because, thanks to this difficult situation, I found my dad whom I met for the first time being in the Order. My parents divorced when I was 4, so my dad's first question was: "Will you ever forgive me?”. "If I hadn't forgiven you, we wouldn't meet”. "Daughter, this is the most beautiful day of my life. It’s a weight off my mind that I had been carrying for so many years”. The Lord Jesus gave me then an insight into the power of forgiveness. I wouldn't think out my own life more beautifully, and over time I see Jesus leading everything, arranging it, healing it and blessing it. My life belongs to Him, so I know that I have nothing to fear because everything is possible with Him.