Sisters Stories

Sr Anne-Marie Frances Brittain - My Story
Sr Anne-Marie Frances Brittain - My StoryEveryone has a tale to tell about ‘what’ and ‘why’ and ‘how’ certain events happened  and why choices were made that determined direction and change.
Faith in God changes everything. My parents had a strong and living belief in a God who was present and active.  As a child I just imbibed it, and, while finding some aspects of this outlook a bit daunting, the larger part was a sense of purpose, of love and connection. It was at a later stage of life that I came to really appreciate what a gift it was and is.

We are six siblings. Teresa, my eldest sister entered religious life – the Congregation of Notre Dame de Sion when she was 18 years. She had always wanted this and that was the trend in 1965 – high school and then decision-making. Since belief played such a high priority in our lives as a family, I did consider that maybe this, also, was where I was being called.  I dismissed the possibility and trained as a teacher, learnt a lot about myself through relationships with men that didn’t work out, and kept searching to find where it was that I was meant to be.

This search involved working in East Africa for 2 years as a lay volunteer and there I sensed the need to make a commitment when I came back. But I didn’t  really want religious life and bargained with God – that I would try it and if it wasn’t for me then I would leave. I never considered another congregation other than the Sisters of Sion, since I knew them personally through Teresa, I liked the fact that they lived in an adult fashion, without the habit,; that they were educated women involved with the issues of the world and I felt I would grow and become more who God wanted me to be with them. I wouldn’t then have articulated the importance of ‘biblical spirituality’ rootedness in the Jewish-Christian story, that came much later,  those aspects of Sionian charism develop slowly like a love-affair, as they are things of the heart even more than the mind!

So 25 years later my choice is even more deeply this vocation. It has taken me to the Philippines, where I have lived for the past 14 years. I work in formation of our new members and also with women who have formed a producers’ cooperative making handmade paper cards and many other handcrafted items. This is the justice element of our spirituality; to be with those on the margins, where they struggle to survive. Many will have seen the devastating floods which have affected so many in 25 provinces in Philippines. It is a fragile existence on the margins and compassion, solidarity and wisdom are needed to try to build a better world.

What have been your choices in life that have brought you to where you  are?

How do you envisage your future? Does God have a role to play in your decisions?

Do you pray for wisdom and enlightenment?



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  • Sr Anne-Marie Frances Brittain - My Story
  • Sr Anne-Marie Frances Brittain - My Story
  • Sr Anne-Marie Frances Brittain - My Story





Sisters Stories