Meet Sister Alina Marie Nieser of the Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate. 32-year-old Sister Alina Marie is from the parish of Old St. Patrick in Ann Arbor. While living there, she was also a frequent attendee at Daily Mass at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish. Here is her beautiful story of sisterhood:
“From my childhood, God poured His love into my heart and taught me how much He loves me through prayer and the regular reception of the sacraments. I came to a point where I knew without a doubt that God wanted me to belong to Him alone. I cannot describe how that realization had filled my soul with awe at God’s goodness. When I went on a retreat in the 7th grade called Vocatio Deo, I saw religious sisters for the first time and realized that I deeply desired the radiant beauty of their lives. I wanted to be a sister! I remember when I spoke to one of them I said, ‘This is like heaven!’ Indeed, that retreat was heavenly. It was my first experience of communion with other girls my age singing and praying in a shared love for our Lord in the Eucharist – the taste of a rich communion that is the heart of religious life and that will spring into eternity.”
“After that retreat and into high school and college, I continued to pray and the knowledge that I was to belong to God alone never went away. I felt our Lord show me the yearnings of His Heart more and more. In prayer, He helped me to see that He is always thinking of His lost little ones who do not come to Him and how He is always longing for them! I knew strongly that He was calling me to ‘go out and get them…go out to those who will not come to Me one their own.’ At one point, the words Christ spoke to Peter came to my heart as though He were speaking directly to me. ‘Do you love Me?’ He asked. ‘Feed my sheep.’ I knew I could not wait any longer. I looked for a community that went out in the way the Lord had impressed upon my heart and through St. Joseph’s powerful intercession, I came to find the Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate! Above and beyond what I had hoped for, God fulfilled all the desires of my heart! In this beautiful community, He feeds me in the deep contemplative life of prayer throughout the day and then He leads me to go out to bring others home to Him! What a gift to be a Parish Visitor of Mary Immaculate!”
* Do you feel that God may be calling you to Consecrated Life? Contact Dawn Hausmann, Director of Consecrated Vocations for the Diocese of Lansing, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-342-2506.