Ms. Salvador is a nurse, a busy mom, and a potential future sister.
Roslyn Salvador has long suspected that she might have a call to religious life. After graduating from college in the Philippines, where she was born and raised, Ms. Salvador entered the Franciscan Sisters.
In less than a week, she knew that it wasn’t for her.
“I realized that I wasn’t meant for it,” she says. “I’m an outgoing person.”
Ms. Salvador married a childhood friend, emigrated to the United States, and had two daughters. Although she dreamed of becoming a dentist, she instead went into nursing, which became her passion.
“I fell in love with nursing,” Ms. Salvador recalls. “I have a passion for patients in the Intensive Care Unit. When they’re really sick and then they get better, I feel like I did something.”
Ms. Salvador first worked in the Intensive Care Unit and now works in recovery. In her spare time, she brings communion to patients and prays with the families on a volunteer basis.
Although she now happily identifies as a “busy mom,” her sense of a calling to religious life never entirely disappeared. “I told my husband that, after our kids are grown up, I will go back to religious life,” Ms. Salvador recalls.
In 2012, Ms. Salvador’s husband, Louie, died of cancer. She is now the single parent of their girls, now 12 and 17. Her main focus is mothering them, but she still feels that she has a calling that she can’t totally grasp.
“I always feel like I have a mission, a calling,” Ms. Salvador explains. “It’s like you’re falling in love with something, but you don’t know it fully.”
When we meet, Ms. Salvador is scarfing down dinner before a retreat sponsored by the Dominican Sisters of Hope at Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center. She’s still wearing work clothes; Ms. Salvador got out of work late and rushed to pick up a dress for her daughter before arriving at Mariandale. Now she swiftly eats, wiping her mouth every so often. Although most of the other retreatants have already finished their meal, Ms. Salvador doesn’t hesitate to answer my questions: “I’m used to multitasking,” she says with a wink.
Ms. Salvador is attending the retreat as the newest Associate of the Dominican Sisters of Hope. After hearing Ms. Salvador’s story, Sister Connie Koch (who was a friend of Ms. Salvador’s husband from church) suggested that she might become an Associate to further explore her call to religious life. This past April, Ms. Salvador made a three-year commitment to live Gospel values in relationship with the Dominican Sisters of Hope, and to further the mission of the Dominican Sisters of Hope within the context of her own lifestyle.
On a practical level, she’s especially excited about sharing prayer with the sisters.
“I have a lot of ministries already,” Ms. Salvador shares. “With the sisters, I don’t have to add more ministries, but I can become part of a prayer network.”
Ms. Salvador isn’t sure what the future holds for her and her family. She’s curious to see if she will eventually delve deeper into religious life, once her daughters are grown. For now, she feels that her choice to become an Associate is just right.
“I dreamt about my husband the night after he died,” Ms. Salvador says. “He told me, and I always liked this, that I have a special mission to continue praying for the souls of dying people. It’s a special thing to be always for the people, to pray for them. In some ways, I think that’s what a mother is, too.”
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