This article originally ran in the Pittsburgh Catholic’s Vocations 2012 supplement.

Nursing allows sister to realize her quiet ministry

Sister of Charity of Nazareth Marcelina Novarro always likedthe colors of black and white. It was only fitting that they are the colors ofher order. For the 39 years of her ministry, “Sister Marcie” has servedas a nurse. She currently works the overnight shift in the personal caresection at the Vincentian Home, a nursing care facility that is part of the VincentianCollaborative System.

She has also worked at nursing facilities in Youngstown,Ohio, and Monet, Mo. “I live a hidden life in a way,” she said of her overnighthours.

A Johnstown native, Sister Marcie pointed out that shedecided to become a religious sister after seeing one for the first time at theage of five or six when her mother took her to enroll in catechism classes. “When I first saw her I thought that’s what I wanted to dowhen I grew up,” she said.

She confessed that the thought of entering religious lifewaned in the coming years and it wasn’t until her senior year of high schoolthat the thought returned. It was an encounter with a Franciscan brother who wasteaching a religious education class at her parish that inspired her. She recalledthe joy on his face as he taught about God.

“It was just glowing,” she said. Sister Marcie went on to enter the novitiate program of theVincentian Sisters of Charity (the order merged with the Sisters of Charity of Nazarethin 2008). She received a nursing degree through the St. Francis School ofNursing.

She lives at the Vincentian Home, but she stays active withother functions within her religious community. In speaking about her call to religious life, Sister Marcienoted that she knows that it was where God called her to be. Her future, sheadded, is up to him.

“I take it day by day,” she said of her ministry. “Ifsomething comes up I’ll be led to where I’m supposed to be.”For those considering a vocation, Sister Marcie encouragedthem to pray for guidance and to be honest and genuine in discerning where Godis calling them to be.

“Look for the hand of God in your life,” she said. “Do hiswill. If he truly is calling you-you will feel it in your heart.”

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