Vocation Story of Sister Barbara Ann Mayer, OSB

I was attracted to sisters when I began going to a Catholic school in the 4th grade. I loved helping them after school and on Saturdays. In high school I had a favorite English teacher who encouraged my writing. When I graduated I wanted to go to college, and picked Mount St. Scholastica College out of a college catalogue.

I had never been away from home before and was scared and immature. The Benedictine sisters were very kind and excellent teachers and I fell in love with them. After two years of college, I entered the Benedictine community in Atchison. Sometimes life was challenging, but I always prayed that I would do God’s will. When I began teaching, I found it difficult and discovered it was not my gift.  Then I had to struggle with whether I was called to be a Benedictine since it was a teaching order when I entered.

Thankfully Vatican II took place around that critical time and I was able to find another ministry. I began working on a diocesan newspaper and pursue my dream of writing. Also religious life adapted more to modern times and we were able to visit our families, travel and wear ordinary clothes. I lived with sisters who supported and encouraged me as I adapted to new ministries and changes in the Church.

As I look back on my life I am filled with gratitude for my mother’s strong Catholic faith, my opportunities to further my education, my trips to Germany to get to know my extended family, and friends who enriched my life. I have felt God’s love through all the ups and downs of my 60 years of community life.

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