Sr. Kim Marie Mis is the Executive Director and Clinical and Training Director at United Stand, an organization in Chicago, IL, that provides support services to children with academic, emotional, or psychological needs in area catholic schools.
Below, she tells the story of her own call to be a Felician Sister.
I met the Felician Sisters when I was in elementary school. I thought they were admirable women and I wanted to know more about them. There was another young woman I knew, and she was considering entering the Felicians in Chicago. Whenever she would go up there, I went along, and I decided that the Sisters looked like a possibility for me.
When I told my parents, my dad was reluctant. He thought that I should think it over more and go to high school in the area. I think he thought maybe I would meet someone and I would make friends. I think he thought that I would probably change my mind.
I went to the local high school, and I had a really good time there. I had good teachers, and I made friends. I had a few boyfriends. My dad was very happy. Then at the end of the year, he asked me what I was thinking, and he was pretty sad to discover that I still had the same thought about going to Chicago with the Felician Sisters. He said, “Okay, but you can still change your mind.” Every time he would come to see me, he would bring an empty suitcase so that I could just pack up everything I had and go home with him.
In Chicago, I went to Mother of Good Counsel High School and I really liked it there. It was a great high school, and the Sisters there were good teachers. I wrote for the school paper and joined the debate team.
When I entered the postulancy, Vatican II was happening and it was changing things in the church. I liked the changes that I was seeing, so I began to write about those things in the college newspaper, and I had immediate opinions because I was taught to be a person of opinion.
After being a novice, I wanted to make my vows, so it was quite a shock to me when the provincial minister told me that they were not sure that I was a good candidate for the order. At first, I was absolutely devastated, because I really thought I was being called to this.
The Sisters were about to contact my family, but they were on vacation and not reachable, so it gave some time to the whole thing. It gave pause to the decision.
In the meantime, my postulant director and novice director intervened. They came to me and they said they didn’t agree with the decision, saying, “We think we need people like you.” The next day, the novice director came to me and she said, “We have talked to the provincial and she would like to talk to you.”
She said to me, “You know, I think I moved too quickly and I didn’t really find out all the circumstances and what was going on, and I’m sorry I did that. I think if you would still like to enter the order, I think we would like to give you a chance to make your vows.” Of course, I decided to stay and make my vows.
I think being in the order then became more for me, a relationship with a God that knows what he wants. I had thought my plan was to enter the order, and then it looked like that changed, but I grew along the way.
Even though it was a rough path at first, I think I got to where I needed to be. Do I know where I need to be next? I don’t. As Mother Angela would say, we have to be in touch with what the needs of the times are, and that’s where I am right now. I’m listening and waiting and trying to find out what God’s new idea is, and that’s really exciting for me.