COLORADO SPRINGS. As the Catholic Church in the United States gets ready to celebrate Vocations Awareness Week Nov. 1-7, a parishioner in the diocese is preparing to enter religious life.
Holy Apostles parishioner Catherine Logan has been accepted as a postulant for the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. She plans to enter as soon as she has raised enough money to pay off her student debt.
“What really drew me in was, first, their charism, but also the fact that, when I visited them, I remember there was just this true sense of joy mixed in with this true sense of their personalities,” said Logan, who goes by Katie. “I wouldn’t have to change me; God wants to use me as I am with my gifts and talents.”
Logan’s call to religious life happened in gradual stages. Born and raised in a Presbyterian family in New Jersey, she had minimal experience with faith during her high school years.
“I had pushed God out of my life, so he wasn’t even a part of it,” Logan said. She hadn’t planned to go to college, but at the urging of a friend, she applied and was given the opportunity to play ice hockey at Neumann University in Aston, Pennsylvania, which was founded by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia.
“Neumann completely transformed my life because, at the end of my freshman year, I was injured playing ice hockey and happened to step into campus ministry to set up service opportunities. It was just as if God opened a door.”
“A Franciscan priest who I’m still friends with to this day and a campus minister were two of the biggest influences,” Logan said. “For me, the first part of being drawn into the faith and into the Catholic Church was that I had peers who invited me to be involved and go to things. It was because of them that I started to trust in God again to the point that I could begin my own relationship with him. I just became fascinated; I wanted to know about St. Francis and the Catholic faith. I eventually went through the RCIA process when I was a junior.”
After graduating from Neumann, Logan served two years in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Detroit, Michigan. She then enrolled in Fordham University in New York to earn a master’s degree in pastoral care and counseling.
In 2013, she moved to Colorado and began working in a residential treatment facility. She currently works for the Resource Exchange as a long-term Medicaid service coordinator.
Logan struggled at first to find her place in the local Catholic community, but after joining Holy Apostles roughly two years ago, things began to change.
“The first weekend I was at Holy Apostles, there was an advertisement in the bulletin for a Christ Renews His Parish retreat. I really needed a retreat and signed up,” she said. “I remember it was really overwhelming because I was in a room of 30 women of different ages, and everyone was so kind and caring towards one another. During that weekend, I didn’t remember half the talks, but God was using it to open my heart in ways I had closed off a little bit.”
The retreat inspired Logan to get more involved at the parish.
“Over those weeks, it was as if God was just chipping away. I remember asking the pastor and parochial vicar how I could get involved in the Church. They said, ‘Maybe you should pray.’ I didn’t really understand what that meant.”
With the help and encouragement of Fathers Jim Baron and Erin Kochivar, Logan began to attend Mass daily and develop her prayer life, including regular eucharistic adoration.
“During adoration, God shared the calling to religious life,” Logan said. “It was as if a movie reel was playing in my mind and at the end of it was a picture of habited sisters.”
A retreat in Texas for people discerning religious life helped Logan to clarify her vocation and hone in on an order that would be a good fit for her, Logan said.
“It was nice to be around others who were discerning,” she said. “I began to think, ‘I came into the Catholic Church under the Franciscan tradition. Why haven’t I looked at the Franciscan orders?’”
Logan said that, since deciding to join the Franciscan sisters, she has known inner peace.
“What really struck me was that feeling of peace and joy to lay my life down and give it fully to God and the church, to allow myself to be used as an instrument in order to bring God’s love to others,” she said. “When you enter an order, it’s no longer ‘mine’ but ours. Over these months, I’ve really seen how God has helped me make that transition. The challenging part right now is not knowing when I might enter.”
(Editor’s note: For those who would like to help Logan pay off her student debt, a Go Fund Me account can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/f/7f3txz-katie039s-call-to-serve.)