May your Heart be Nazareth

My vocation to the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family is linked with our foundress, Blessed Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd. We met for the first time in the library. Her picture with the address to the Sisters in Czestochowa was inside the book I borrowed. It all seemed very familiar. Then I remembered that this was the foundress of the Congregation that my friend Alina entered. On the back of the picture was the name and address, so I wrote to Alina. In response I received a folder about the Sisters and an invitation to a retreat for young women who felt called to the married life. I went to the retreat with the intention to discern marriage and left the retreat feeling that God had other plans for me. I believe that Blessed Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd initiated my discernment process and guided me to the Congregation.

During the preparation of perpetual vows, it is customary in our Congregation to choose a ‘mystery’, that is a name or attribute of God that best describes our spiritual journey. From the very beginning my choice was ‘Jesus the Good Shepherd’ the same mystery that our foundress, Blessed Mary chose. I treasure my name – Sister Bogumilla of Jesus the Good Shepherd – because it is for me a constant reminder that I was once lost and Jesus the Good Shepherd never gave up looking for me. For the rest of my life on this earth, I wish only to follow the Good Shepherd and with him, search for people who are lost.

In 1999 my brother, Darek, was diagnosed with advanced leukaemia. During this very difficult time for him and our family, I drew even closer to Blessed Mary and clung to Jesus the Good Shepherd. Shortly after Darek was transferred from the hospital in Bartoszyce to a hospital in Gdansk for treatment, he fell into a coma. It seemed that Darek was going to die. My community leader, Sister Magdalena Bedkowska, put a relic of Blessed Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd into my brother’s pyjama pocked. For nine days my sister-in-law and sisters in community prayed that through her intercession my brother would be healed.

Darek did wake up and began to respond to treatment followed by a successful stem cell transplant. I firmly believe that it was through the intercession of Blessed Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd that my brother is alive today. He has enjoyed a good life and the privilege of watching his only daughter grow up and marry. Darek is presently awaiting the birth of his first grandchild!

How merciful and generous is God’s love!

Sister Bogumila Malikowska

 

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