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Sr Hazel Alphonse – The Holy Will of God

I am Sr Hazel Alphonse, the youngest of nine children, five brothers and three sisters. I was born in St Lucia. My upbringing in a devout Catholic family prepared me to listen to God’s Call and to respond to it.

Although my parents never spoke of religious vocations, their lives were a living testimony of a relationship rooted in God. I was immersed in the simple faith of my parents. It was there that I grew to appreciate the value of a spiritual life.

My journey began many years ago. I believe that the result of devout and faithful parents, trying to nurture a Catholic family, is the seed of my vocation. From a very young age, I have had this desire to be of service to God and my brothers and sisters. I believe it was the work of the Holy Spirit in my heart that prompted this inner movement to become a Religious Sister.

I felt an inner peace, a confirmation that this is the life, in which the Lord will use me.

My daily encounter with Jesus through various religious experiences filled my heart with great expectations of a life fully immersed in God. God had a plan for me, and my hope was that this plan would one day materialise.

I was fortunate to attend Catholic schools in St Lucia, both at the primary and secondary levels. It was at the secondary school, at the age of 14 that my interest in the religious life developed. I became preoccupied with the thought of offering my life to Christ.

After secondary school, I began discerning my vocation to religious life by attending vocations retreats and meeting different religious congregations. I also did the ‘Come and See’ retreats to discern my vocation. I felt at home with the Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny. It was the spirit of the Charism of their foundress Blessed Anne Marie Javouhey, “The Holy Will of God” that attracted me.

I started my religious journey in the Congregation in April 2007, professed temporary vows in 2010 and made perpetual vows in 2017.

God has done much in preparing me to respond to the call to be His bride. As I receive God’s grace daily, I experience His love and mercy at every moment of my life. Each experience has helped me to respond to the Call more deeply, in a spirit of freedom, thus strengthening my resolve to discern the Holy Will of God. I thank God for inviting me to share in the charism of our Mother foundress.

I am happy that I have made a choice to follow in the footsteps of Christ. I believe it is where God wants me to be, and yet it remains a daily choice to follow Jesus and to live totally for Him. It is a gift from God to celebrate.