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I entered the convent when I was 30 years old and my native land, Slovakia, was still under the communist regime. Before it really happened I never thought about being a Religious Sister except when we were joking with my high school classmates that if we do not get married by the time we were 25, we would enter the convent. Most of the people, including me, lived under the impression that religious convents did not exist any more and those few old Sisters would just die out.

It might be hard to believe but I knew God called me to Religious Life when I was in the first grade. We had Dominican Sisters teaching at our school and I used to carry a book bag home for them after school was over. One of the Sisters, Sister Lillian, in a special way impressed me and I wanted to be like her. I liked the Dominicans because their apostolate was teaching. I loved to teach catechism and was dreaming of one day being a Dominican Sister. Years went by, I was very much involved in sports, especially baseball, but the feeling that God was calling me was still there.

I grew up in a small village in the eastern part of Slovakia in Europe. My parents brought me up together with my older brother and sister in modest economic conditions, but in a loving family. We did not speak much about God at home but prayer was an important part of our evening routine. Going to Church for Sunday Mass was the most important event of our weekly schedule. The best dress in my closet and the best pair of shoes were kept just for Sunday Mass. Wearing them for some other occasion was almost like a sacrilege. I remember another routine: as soon as I could hold a broom in my hands my mom sent me every Saturday to sweep the sidewalk in front of our house to make it clean for people who will walk by our house to Church for Sunday Mass. Everything in our lives revolved around and evolved from Sunday Mass.