Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletSeptember 24, 2017

Sisters' Stories

Sister Linda Vendetti, CSJ (Sister Ann Lewis)


Once upon a time there was a girl of seventeen named Linda. Linda was active in her parish. She went to Mass on Sundays and frequently during the week. She came to know Father O’Connor quite well and, because of him, was attracted to church work. Since priesthood was not an option, she began to think about other ways of serving in the church. Like all high school seniors, Linda was deciding what occupation she should pursue. Her guidance counselor encouraged her to go to college. She thought she might want to be a secretary. Because Linda never attended a Catholic school, she did not know any religious women personally. She knew the Presentation Sisters in her parish, but only enough to wave politely when she saw them. So she did what she thought was best. She made a novena with the intention of receiving a “sign” from God as to whether she should go to college or look into a religious community. At the end of the novena it was clear to Linda that she should go to college.

During her years at the State University of New York at Albany, Linda thought about religious life but did not move in any direction except to look at a book about religious communities in America. After graduation she accepted a teaching position in a public school in Rochester. She was very happy in that position and had every intention of continuing there for the following year. In fact, in April she told the superintendent of her intention to remain on the faculty.
 
In May, on the vigil of the feast of Pentecost, Linda went to church to pray for a little while. That night, on the steps of the church, she spoke to a priest of the parish. She did not know him well, but just stopped for a friendly chat. In the middle of the conversation, to Linda’s astonishment, the priest said, “Linda, when are you going to join the convent?” Linda was dumbfounded! He continued, “I think you have good qualities that would make for a good nun.” She went home to ponder what this meant. Later that night Linda realized God was calling her.
 
The next day she found her way across town to the motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Rochester. The sisters were out walking during their evening recreation. Linda stopped the car at the first group and asked to talk to someone about the community. The sister she stopped was the novice director. After a brief conversation, the sisters suggested Linda write the director of postulants for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in Latham and ask for an interview.
 
Linda went home to Schenectady a few weeks later to tell her parents. They were not happy about her decision and tried to change her mind, but Linda was confident that God was calling her. Her colleagues on the school faculty were very supportive of her decision. Linda went for an interview that June, after the close of school.
 
In August Linda went on a three-week tour of Europe and the Holy Land. She had been planning such a trip with a friend but the friend’s plans changed; so Linda went with a group of strangers who soon became friends. It was a great trip, and it fulfilled Linda’s desire to see the world. On September 15, 1964, Linda entered the Sisters of St. Joseph. Several years later, she still believes that God called her and continues to call her to faithfulness and joy in her vocation!