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Jubilarians 2024 Vocation Story – Sr. Sharon Anne Legere, FSP

Sr. Sharon Anne Legere is from Somersville, Connecticut. She is celebrating her 60th anniversary of religious profession this year.

Sr. Sharon, can you tell us how you met the Daughters of St. Paul?

I didn’t meet them—God sent them!

I had a very religious background as a child. We said the rosary together as a family, and I was blessed with wonderful parents. They were hard-working people. When I was little, I loved to be in plays, and one day my mother told me, “When you grow up you’ll either be an actress or a nun!”

I was seven when I received my First Communion, and I felt God telling me in my heart that if I asked Jesus for something at my First Communion, he would give it to me. So as I was coming back from Communion, I prayed, “Jesus, please make me a nun.” It was the first seed that God planted.

When I was twelve years old, I thought of becoming a missionary. I believe God put this in my heart. We used to receive a magazine from the Marists. The Marists, or the Society of Mary, are a missionary congregation of priests, brothers, and sisters. I cut out their address from the magazine, put it in a drawer, and forgot about it. So I never followed up on that.

My grandmother subscribed to all kinds of religious magazines that she thought my family would like. However, they were all in French, so I couldn’t read them. Then, one day I came across The Family magazine. It was published by another religious community, the Daughters of St. Paul.  It was the only English magazine in the pile! I picked it up, and it happened to be a special vocation issue. I read the stories about the sisters and their adventures bringing the Gospel to the world. I found out later that the reason my grandmother had the magazine at her home was because the sisters had visited her house on door-to-door evangelization.

I read the magazine over and over, and my interest in the Daughters of St. Paul gradually grew deeper. My parents saw this and asked me if I wanted to write to the sisters. So I did, explaining in my letter that I was interested in being a sister. Imagine my excitement when I received an answer just a week later—it was from Sr. Mary Paula [who was the vocation director at the time]. She began to write to me faithfully every week. When I was thirteen, the sisters invited me to visit them at their convent in Boston.

When I told my parents I wanted to enter the Daughters of St. Paul, I believe they were truly courageous in allowing me to pursue my vocation. They were very supportive of me. “We want you to be happy,” they told me. “We want whatever God wants for you.”

In 1958, I entered the aspirancy program for high schoolers that we had at that time, and after graduation I continued into the postulancy.

God called me when I was very young. He doesn’t work that way with everyone, but that’s my story. When I entered the congregation, I felt at home and had a deep sense that this was truly where God was calling me. I wanted to be a nun, and I wanted to be a saint.

What experiences have you had of the Pauline mission?

When I first entered, we would attend high school classes during the day and then we spent a couple of hours helping the sisters in the publishing house. It was very exciting and I remember thinking, “We’ll reach so many people through our mission!”

Later, I loved visiting people on door-to-door evangelization. We met people where they were, and I could see God working through us. Once, two of us saw some lights in the distance. We thought that there might be a house there that we had missed. We began walking toward the lights, when unexpectedly we came across a big German shepherd. He began barking as if trying to get us to follow him somewhere. I was so scared—I’m afraid of dogs—and I prayed to my guardian angel! We followed the shepherd, which led us to the very house we had noticed in the distance. We knocked, and a young man opened the door. Almost gasping, he asked, “How did you find me?”

We said simply, “God led us here.”

“I’m so grateful you came,” he stuttered. He told us that he was an amputee and his parents had abandoned him. At the very moment we arrived he had been thinking about ending his life. Silently asking God’s help, we spoke with the young man and encouraged him to return to the sacraments. We gave him a book on the Blessed Mother. As we prepared to leave, he shook his head and said again, “I just can’t get over the fact that you found me.” When we stepped off the front porch, we looked around. There was no sign of that dog! We have many stories like that, where it was so clear that God was bringing us into people’s lives just when they needed the Lord’s help most.

I also enjoyed the many years I spent in the radio apostolate. I was blessed to begin a weekly fifteen-minute radio program on the lives of the saints which continued for several years. We produced other radio series too, for example, a series on the popes. These were little seeds that we were sowing. We received wonderful feedback from our listeners. One time, a gentleman from South Africa wrote to tell us that he listened to our radio program while commuting to and from work each day, and he affirmed, “Your stories have saved my marriage.”

When I was older, with the grace of God, I felt I had to do something more. I felt called to reach out to prisoners. I exchanged letters with them, encouraging them in their faith and in confidence in God. We were able to send them books that they requested in order to nourish their spiritual lives.

Sr. Sharon, after 60 years in religious life, what advice would you give a young woman discerning her vocation?

Prepare well, live your faith, and pray. Say three Hail Mary’s every day, asking the Blessed Mother to help you know and follow your vocation. She will take care of everything. As you discern where God is calling you, Mass and the sacraments are also so important. There you meet Jesus in a very real way! Be courageous!

Meet the Author

Sr. Sharon Anne Legere, FSP

Proclaiming the gospel through the media.

In a world that yearns to receive the Good News, we seek through the various aspects of our mission to be instruments of mercy, hope, and love.

Discern Your Vocation

Our sisters regularly host opportunities for vocational discernment, providing a space for young women to find out more about religious life and pray about where God is calling them. To find out about opportunities near you or to speak with a sister about vocational discernment, get in touch with us. Know that we are praying for you!

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