One of a family of three girls and one boy, I was born in Seoul and spent all of my life there. My family, on my mother’s side, has been Catholic for many generations. After I finished studies I worked as a kindergarten teacher for many years.
From that time I started to think that there might be something that would make me feel constant happiness and inner peace but I didn’t know where I could find such treasures…
Julietta’s Vocation Story
…but part of the answer came through a childhood memory that I have never forgotten. I was 8 or 9 years old I was watching TV and saw a Sister riding a bicycle in Africa. The first thing that struck me was that the Sister was wearing a habit and riding a bicycle while carrying a lot of food in the basket. She visited each house to meet the people and distribute food to them. I still remember their happy faces. At the time I whispered to myself, ‘I want to live like that.’ As time went on I forgot all these beautiful memories.
Some years later, when I was undergoing a very difficult time in my life I chanced upon a web site about India. From that moment I felt a mysterious force pulling me to go to that populous country. So, over the following ten years during my vacation, I visited India three times.
India allowed me, for the first time in my life, to learn and experience with my whole body how wonderful it was to live slowly and without stress. The most important thing for me was that India helped open my eyes and mind that had been closed to God. India made me see how much I am blessed. After that I heard an inner call very deeply and eventually I joined the Columban Congregation.
…as Professed Columban Sister
After I made First Vows I was assigned to Dobongsan Parish in Seoul for a year where I was responsible for the Sunday school teachers and children in the parish church. After that I was assigned to the Philippines. But before going there I spent a few months in our Mother House, Magheramore, Ireland, to get to know our retired Sisters and learn how to grow old gracefully.
I arrived in the Philippines on 3 January, 2012. First, I studied Tagalog, the local language; now I am working as a member of a parish pastoral team and have special responsibility for the children and the youth in the parish. Looking back over the first year’s experiences I have had here in the Philippines, I can say I have seen God’s wisdom at work. God gave me wisdom to overcome my prejudice and stubbornness and enable me to open my heart to see His plans. Whenever I meet the people in a poor area for when teaching, playing, sharing and distributing some food to them, I always remember the Sister whom I saw on TV when I was young even though I don’t have a bicycle now! I have experienced that for God nothing is impossible. So now I say –
“Even though the future is unknown, I will follow you…”