Sharing my Salesian Story
My name is Anne Frances McNamee; I am 31 years old and I have been a Salesian Sister for just over 15 months. I am originally from Motherwell in Scotland but am presently based in Cowley, Oxford, where I teach Year 4 in the local Primary School. I first met the Salesians 9 years ago. I had been asked by a friend to join our Diocesan group travelling to Toronto, Canada, for World Youth Day. In the group, there were two Salesian Sisters. I had never heard anything about the Salesians before. The Sisters told me some things about their Congregation, their founders, and about the type of work they did. I remember being fascinated by it all and asking LOTS of questions.
I also remember being struck at how ‘normal’ and approachable they were - I felt like I’d known them for ages! After we returned home, the Sisters kept in touch with me and I was invited to other Salesian events in the British Province. I became more involved in various events and groups ran by the Sisters, from the Prayer Weekend to the VIDES UK project. The more I got involved with the Salesians, the more alive I felt. Over time, I felt that God was calling me to follow Him more closely, and I felt that this was to be as a Salesian Sister.
I began a period of vocational accompaniment with the FMA to discern God’s will for my life. After about a year of this, I asked to make a Community experience with the Sisters to help me discern further and make a more informed choice. From here, I entered Postulancy, in which I spent a wonderful year in Liverpool, followed by a 2 year Novitiate in Rome, where I got to experience the Salesian Family from all around the world. Knowing the Salesians has certainly changed my life. I have had some amazing experiences and opportunities, and have been privileged to meet and work with many amazing people, especially some really inspirational young people who, each day, help me know the greatness of God working in and through them.
Anne Frances FMA