When someone is transitioning into religious life, what does ministry look like?
Sister Michelle Blevins, SND is one such example of someone in that transition. She was welcomed as a postulant by the Sisters of Notre Dame in December 2017. She continued in formation for the national novitiate in Covington, KY. She was accepted as a novice in August 2019.
In the transition to religious life, Sister Michelle is learning how to enter into the rhythm of religious life as a Sister of Notre Dame which includes theological studies, formative ministry experiences, and prayerful contemplation of where her gifts are best actualized in God’s plan. For women in formation, this includes everything from weekly sessions with the Sisters of Notre Dame, getting acquainted with new members to other religious orders, studying theology, growing in spirituality and prayer, and providing service within the SND community and in the local area.
Having the openness to formative ministry experiences is an important part of the prayerful transition to religious life and becoming a contemplative in action. Service activities that have supported Sister Michelle’s journey include her time in 2018 at “Stretch Your Heart,” a week-long service trip hosted by the Sisters of Notre Dame to serve at a day shelter for people who are homeless in New Orleans.
Faith sharing has been another way of ministering and allowing others to minister to her. At a gathering of “young” nuns at an inter-community retreat, she had the opportunity to meet for the first time some younger sisters who professed final vows before she entered formation. Sister Michelle reflects that for many of them, part of the excitement was being able to discuss their experiences with others who are in the same stage of formation at that time – “Since I was the only postulant, my excitement came from witnessing that I am not the only young woman in the world who is attracted to this way of life that many others believe to be outdated.”
Sister Michelle Blevins, SND graduated from Holy Name High School, Parma, Ohio and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in Business Finance from Baldwin Wallace College, Berea, Ohio in 2002. Michelle also received Certification in Computer Information Systems in 2009 and completed a second Major in Computer Science in 2012 from Baldwin Wallace University. Before entering the Sisters of Notre Dame, for 13 years Sister Michelle was employed at PNC Bank where she worked as a quality assurance specialist during her final years with the company.
“I know that the joys of religious life speak for themselves…
Religious life is a beautiful vocation. I pray many other young women come to see that as well.
– Sister Michelle Blevins, Novice Sisters of Notre Dame