The Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities recently welcomed Maria Laura Fernandez as a new candidate with the congregation. During this first formal step in the process of discerning her religious vocation, she is living in community with our sisters, and spending time in prayer and ministry.

Maria says she feels a special call to the Franciscan way of life. “The Franciscan way of living has to do with joy and finding God’s nearness in everything,” she says. “The part I enjoy the most is finding God in the other person.”

Traveling all the way from Costa Rica in January, she spent time with our sisters in Syracuse, N.Y. and then traveled to Pittsburgh, Pa. Maria is enjoying getting to know our sisters and volunteering for Casa San Jose. Casa San Jose is a support center that links Latino immigrants in need with service providers and resources. An outreach of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Baden, it is located in the basement of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Pittsburgh’s Brookline neighborhood.

Maria said so far, her journey has been quite exciting. “I really believe that God has a great sense of humor and he works in mysterious ways. It’s been interesting!”