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Parents
A Journey of Discernment – The Call to Consecrated Life
 

The gift of vocation is not just for the one who is called, but for all people. This includes, in a special way, one’s own family and parents. Without the formation and personal witness of virtues and values received from our parents, we would never have been able to answer God’s call to consecrate our lives to him.

Vocation Testimonial, by Mr. and Mrs. Borkowsky (parents of Rachel Anne Borkowsky)
The journey began when Rachel Anne was 3 years old and one day came to breakfast wearing a baby blanket draped on her head and announced that she was going to be like Mary from now on. Hum, we wondered what that could possibly mean.

We were a practicing Catholic family and were introduced to the Regnum Christi Movement through Clear Water Academy, our school in Calgary, Alberta. During this time Rachel Anne became involved in Challenge and ECYD and attended many ECYD conventions and camps. Vocations were something that we talked about as a family, and so it was not a surprise that Rachel Anne decided to attend the pre-candidacy summer program in Rhode Island after 8th grade.

This was the first time that we had our hearts pierced like Mary’s at the thought of her leaving home so young. She called us on the last night of the program to say she felt that the pre-candidacy was not meant for her and was coming home. She was, however, interestind in something called “the coworker program” after high school. True to her word, she finished high school amid some very challenging and joyful experiences and entered the program.

We were open and willing to give her up for a year to the coworker program, although this was the first time we would be separated. We are family of four. Rachel Anne has only one brother, and we have always lived far from any extended family, and so our “little family” has always been extremely close. At the time Rachel Anne left for the coworker program we found ourselves to be empty nesters with both children away (with one discerning his vocation to the priesthood. Her coworker year for us was very trying because of the emptiness in our hearts and home and wondering what the future would bring.

That Christmas, Rachel Anne came home and told us she felt called by Christ to follow him ever more closely. By the way, this happened on the way home from the airport while we were stuck in a traffic jam. We thought that meant to give another year as a coworker, but she said no, she felt called to consecrated life. Filled with so many emotions, surprise, joy, and a sense of loss we turned to her and said we understood with our heads, but our hearts would need a little time catching up. We knew from that moment she no longer belonged to us and that Jesus had spoken to her heart.

We knew her call was true when she shared with us her experience in Gethsemane during her coworker pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Rachel Anne told us that it was at that moment she realized that Christ had lived, suffered and died for her and that she was ready to follow Him no matter the cost. The rest of the coworker year certainly helped us to detach slowly from our physical closeness, as it prepared us to let her go freely and follow Christ as He was calling her.

Now that we had accepted her vocation, the challenge really began for our family. It is not in the way one would normally think about a challenge, in that it was a hard to accept her vocation. Rather, it was a challenge to us to live a better life.

As we see Rachel Anne grow in her love for Christ, it reminds us of the saints and their love for Christ. Yes, every day presents new challenges, but with a focus only on Christ as the way, challenges do not seem so difficult. Rachel Anne has faced many challenges on her journey to her vocation and she met them all head on with joy and fortitude. She has been a shining example of what it is to be an apostle.

For us, her example is a calling to face life more directly and accept the challenges we face every day, hopefully and joyfully! Rachel Anne’s example requires us to grow in our trust for God’s will in our lives and to be listening to his gentle nudges. We know the challenge is not impossible for us, but it will take continued perseverance and faith.

As a parent your hope for your children is that they find out what God is calling them to be. When we look at Rachel Anne we are assured that she has found her vocation. The joy that is expressed in her heart and eyes, as well as in many other consecrated women, tells us that she has been truly blessed and we in turn are blessed because of her “Yes.”

 
 
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