Meet Sister Danielle Victoria Lussier of the Daughters of St. Paul. 37-year-old Sister Danielle Victoria grew up in a big Catholic family with eight siblings (one in heaven). She received Baptism and First Holy Communion at St. John the Baptist Church in Ypsilanti and confirmation at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Battle Creek where her parents are now parishioners. She describes her early years as being greatly influenced for the good by her family’s involvement in the charismatic community at Christ the King in Ann Arbor. Later in life had “a time of being away” from the practice of her Catholic faith but then experienced “reversion” to Catholicism and a return to Christ the King “where I was nourished and received a lot of healing,” she recalls. Later she moved and became a part of the St. Mary Cathedral's young adult community before joining the Daughters of St. Paul in 2013. Here is how Sister Danielle Victoria describes her journey:
“I have chased after beauty and authenticity all my life. I discovered that what I was looking for is really a “Who”, has a face and is a Person with a capital “P”. My life radically changed when I realized as a young adult that this person namely, Jesus, had been with me in the messiness of my life all along and most intimately throughout the periods of my life when I had thought him least relevant and completely absent.”
“Not all are called to be artists in the specific sense of the term. Yet, as Genesis has it, all men and women are entrusted with the task of crafting their own life: in a certain sense, they are to make of it a work of art, a masterpiece,” Saint John Paul II, Letter to Artists, 1999”
“When I was young, I was convinced that someday I would have a big family like the one I grew up in and a fulfilling career as an artist. I never could have imagined how deep those desires ran and just how mysteriously God was going to answer them as a #MediaNun with a community stretching across 51 countries throughout the world.”
“Creativity was nurtured throughout my life. When I received a scholarship to attend the Rhode Island School of Design I was truly living my dream. Art and delving into the creative process really became the center of my life in college. Spending hours a day developing my gifts and discussing the deepest ponderings of my heart with others was exciting. I barely noticed how gradually God and faith was worked out of the conversation. Pretty quickly without realizing it I had wrapped my identity solely around being an artist and stopped practicing my faith. Shortly after graduating college I had a conversion experience that radically changed my life. In that experience I was filled with a stark clarity that God was real, imminently present in my life and had a plan for me. I decided to return to be near my family whom I had estranged myself from. I surrendered my career and gifts in the arts to him placing them on the altar I asked him to give them back to me when I can use them for his glory alone.”
“From this encounter with God a hunger grew that ran deep and set me on a journey that ultimately led to a 30-day silent retreat where I would discern my vocation and meet my future community. I had been exposed to religious life and I was open to it, but I was apprehensive so I thought a good long intense time away with Jesus would give me clarity. And boy did it! Friends, God is so faithful.”
“Periodically while on that retreat I saw two Sisters praying throughout the retreat center and on the grounds. There was something about them that was serene and genuine. I watched them praying and contemplated what their prayer must be like. I was attracted to the totality of their life being dedicated to God and his glory alone. At the end of the retreat all the retreatants had a meal together and I took the opportunity to speak with the Sisters. That's when I learned they are Daughters of St. Paul. I was surprised to learn that their apostolate is in media, but I was totally awestruck to hear how their activity of communicating Christ through the most efficacious and rapid means of media was rooted in a Eucharistic spirituality of adoration and prayer. The founder Blessed James Alberione called their most intimate time of prayer (outside of the Mass), a daily holy hour, the "Visit". The Visit is when the sister brings all she is, the good the bad the ugly and beautiful before the Lord with honesty and from that intimate communication with Christ her apostolate, the media she creates is born. So, everything she creates communicates Christ born of the Eucharist in so much as she allows herself to be transformed in Christ. I visited the motherhouse the following day and knew that this was where he would continue and bring to fulfillment the good work, he had begun in me. During my first profession of vows kneeling before the altar with my right on the Bible and my left hand over my heart, I felt the Lord handing my offering back to me along with a promise that we would give these gifts of creativity to the world together in my vocation as a Daughter of St. Paul.”
* 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.