Vocation story of Sister Jan Futrell, OSB

Every day I pray, "Thank you, God, for calling me to be a Benedictine in this community."

I come from a very friendly and welcoming to religious family; i.e. one Carmelite father or another would often join us for dinner. 1n 1939, we were quickly introduced to cloistered Carmelite Nuns who had come to Oklahoma City that year. From that time on, I knew  I would be one of them-I was five years old.

However, I was introduced to Oklahoma Benedictines in 1950 as a junior in a new Catholic high school. The school had five different orders of sisters; the Benedictines were warm and friendly persons-quite different than the order of Sisters teaching me in grades 1st-10th. Uncertainty began, and so I went to Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for college in 1952-1953.

Was I being called to be a Carmelite or a Benedictine?

When leaving Oklahoma to go to Wisconsin, I spoke to both the Carmalite and Benedictine Rev. Mothers and asked them to pray for me, so that I may know.

In that year, it became clear-God's call was to be a Benedictine. 

At Christmas I saw both Rev. Mothers, telling the Carmelite mother "So sorry!" and the Benedictine Mother: "You're so lucky!" (Not really-just teasing a little now.)'

In June 1953 I entered St. Joseph's Monastery in Guthrie, Oklahoma, which later moved to Tulsa. 

I had a brother become a Jesuit and sister eventually enter the cloistered Carmelites. My other brother married a wonderful wife and had five children.

Years came and went with the usual ups and downs. Indeed, the Benedictine way was for me! In 1968, a group of us began the Red Plains Monastery. In each ebb and flow over the years, I felt: Thank you, God, for calling me to be a Benedictine.

I see vocation as a life-long call from God, a reality of personal identity, whether one is a religious, single or married. And very close to that, too, is the way that call becomes expressed in work, ministries, etc. This view expresses what I mean, as I pray that a person comes to know and to follow his/her vocation. 

Indeed, "Thank you, God, for calling me into this way of life."

Click here for more vocation stories.