About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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"Like all other liturgical functions, like offices and ranks in the Church, indeed like everything else in the world, the religious service that we call the Mass existed long before it had a special technical name."
— Rev. Adrian Fortescue (1912)

   Send an E-mail to Dr. Ronda Chervin, Ph.D.
Beautiful Witness Story of a Sister
published 28 May 2013 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

AM STARTING a new blog series because I just went through all my journals taking out things that could offend family or friends or communities I tried as a widow and included the blogs. To look at the consolidated journals from decades back go to www.rondachervin.com click on free e-books and read One Foot in Eternity. The title is a little joke since my autobiography written just before my husband died was called Half-Way to Eternity.

I asked a student in one of my Distance Learning classes if I could include her witness in my blog:

Witness Story of Sister Lucia Maria Sol

I was born in Miami, Florida on August 26, 1991, and I was raised in Central America. I first lived in El Salvador for some years of my life up until the year 2000. My father’s work transferred him to Honduras, therefore the whole family moved there. Since I was very young, I was always into sports. My passion was playing soccer… I started to play at the age of 5. My dream, since I was very little, was to become a professional soccer player and reach the highest female level.

When I was 16 years old, my family decided to move back to Miami. For me especially, was very sad since I was extremely happy in Honduras, I had many friends I was very popular and known because of soccer and my athletic achievements. One important aspect of my life was that I wasn’t spiritual and didn’t like a lot to go to Mass or pray. I of course knew there was a God but never paid much attention to Him. I was much focused in my own success as an athlete… I used to always be very prideful, selfish self-centered it was all about me. If I ever went to mass it was because my mom would make me. But if it was up to me, I wouldn’t have gone at that particular moment in my life. Once I arrived in Miami, my parents enrolled me in a Catholic high school, where I experience a radical cultural change between this country and Honduras. The high school was catholic by name, because the students showed forth the opposite of what a true catholic would be. My first year was very hard since nothing would satisfy the void in my heart. I felt empty and alone. Even playing soccer didn’t make me happy anymore and I even started losing my passion for it. People made fun of me because of my poor English. Also everyone around me would pressure me to commit different kinds of bad things in order to fit in to the “cool” crowd for example: drugs, alcohol and many other things. I was not close to God at that moment but I knew that I wanted to choose for good and I knew that everything that surrounded me at that particular moment was wrong.

This is when my search for God began. I started to pray to our good Lord and started getting closer to Him. I remember there was a chapel in my school that I would go to during my lunch period. So I would ask God… Lord why have you brought me to Miami? What is your plan for me? Why am I going through so many struggles? I started to question Him because I was in need of so many answers. At the same time I could see how little by little he started transforming my heart into a more virtuous heart, since I always was very prideful, selfish, and self-centered… The first ones to see this transformation of heart were my family since they knew me well they thought that I was going “crazy”.

To make the story short… It was a first Friday of December in which after a soccer game I was invited to attend a Eucharistic adoration led by the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary in which I felt the presence of the Lord like never before in my heart and I heard his voice inside of my heart saying “Maria Fernanda (this was my name of birth) I want something special from you, give me your heart.” ever since that day I had that voice in my heart and I wanted to respond to his petition but I didn’t exactly know what he meant; although my heart was growing more in His love, and only his love and presence satisfied my heart. At the same time this was going on in my heart I was experiencing so much confusion and doubt. I also experience fear of what this calling might mean for me.

The doors of the possibilities of religious life opened, since nothing would satisfy me more than being with Him and showing forth His love to others. I silently started discerning religious life, and yes it will bring so much joy in my heart but at the same time I was scared. I joined campus ministry in school and also started going to Holy Mass every day. All of a sudden I made so many friends like never before; I saw many conversions in young people’s hearts, and once I brought to light my vocation everyone supported me. Except my family, since my parents dream was to see me playing professional soccer. But the Lord in the end worked miracles He took care of them and now that they see me happy they are very much happy and grateful to the Lord for the gift of having a religious daughter.

Finally I understood that I the Lord had brought me to Miami, and allowed me to go through a little bit of struggles in order for me to look for him, and find his perfect will for my life. He wanted me to be all His and it was necessary for me to go through everything that I went though in order to encounter His love. Not only did He wanted my heart but also he had a specific community where he wanted me to give my total yes to Him and the sister were the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary, founded here in Miami Fl.

I graduated high school May 25th 2010 and entered religious life May 31st 2010. I am a recently professed sister; I professed my vows in December 12th, 2013.

On quite a different note:

Inculturation: My grandson was playing loud, loud, pop music. I couldn’t make out the words. I asked someone who said it was “The Road to Hell.” I decided that this meant it was a demonic song – it certainly sounded like it. I called my daughter aside and said “Do you want to pay my hotel room. I’m not listening to demonic music?” Another visitor who is a convert from atheism to Christian Evangelical told me “No, Ronda. It’s about how a bad life leads you to hell. If they used Christian lyrics people wouldn’t listen, but this way they do.” Evangelization?