Greetings! My name is Sister Priscilla Houde
(My religious name was: Sister Madeleine-of –the Cross)
I wish to share with you part of my life journey. I was born and raised in a small French community of Debden, I am the last member of a family of eight siblings. Since I was brought up in a good catholic family, God has always been part of my life. One of my older brothers, 19 years my senior, was an Oblate Father and he became an inspiration for me as I grew up. I, too, wanted to give my life to God's service. So I grew up with the idea that one day, I would do something great for God. My mother, being a very prayerful woman, helped to nurture this vocation to religious life.
I did all my schooling with the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary. I was attracted to their simple lifestyle and their zeal in making Jesus Christ known and loved through their teaching. After much deliberation I did answer God's call. At a tender age of eighteen, I entered the convent to give my life totally to God. It has been fifty years of blessings in God's service. I praise God and am thankful for the gift of my vocation.
Throughout my thirty years of teaching in Junior High, I felt I carried out the charism of our foundress Anne Marie Rivier, through the love and acceptance of each student and by reaching out to them by making them feel and understand how precious each one was in the eyes of God. They in return were to become the best person they were created to be. I really loved my students for who they were. It was a fulfilling challenge.
Then, I was Dean of Residents for nine years. This consisted of being responsible for 40 to 48 residents ages ranging from 15 to 19. This is where I become a mother, nurse, counsellor, organizer, supervisor and a friend to all those young ladies who came for an education in all girl school. So many lovely memories still lingers in my mind. I am always interested to know how each one is faring in life.
I did some ministry work at the Discernment House in Saskatoon for four years. Here I was working at a different age level, mostly university students. These young ladies were here to live a community faith experience. It was beautiful to actually touch the grace of God working within each one, to search and thirst with them for the living God. This type of work had its moments of reward.
For six years I went to give a helping hand at Rivier Academy School. Once again I journeyed with the seniors girls that were residents. I enjoyed my work with the young people. It was challenging and fulfilling. It was rewarding to see them mature in their faith on a daily basis. They also gave me life and energy.
On July 1st, 2010, my life took me on a different path, which was to render service to my community by accepting the role of becoming the provincial assistant for a term of six years. This is a new pathway which I am sure will bring many surprises and graces from God.
In closing, I would like to leave you a short scripture verse which has been with me throughout my spiritual journey: if you only knew the gift of God (Jn 4,10) Have you discovered the gift God has for you?