The journey from desiring family life to consecrated life has been a long one for Sr Celine Marie Doodeman. Source: Hobart Archdiocese.
“Growing up, I’d always wanted to be a mum. That’s all I wanted to be. Homeschool mum, lots of kids, that’s all I wanted.
“And so you’d get the old ladies at church who’d ask you, ‘Oh, what do you want to be when you grow up?’ And I’d be like, ‘I want to be a mum.’ And they’d think I’d say nun. And then it’s like, ‘Oh, you want to be a nun?’
“And I’d be like, ‘No, no, no, no, no.’ And I’d set them straight, straight away.”
Sr Celine Marie Doodeman, 24, made her first profession of religious vows with the Sisters of the Imacculata Community in December.
Born the eldest of seven children in a Catholic family, Sr Celine Marie says her parents taught her how to pray, the importance of going to Mass, and of having a relationship with God.
Sr Celine Marie grew up familiar with different religious communities, and first met the Sisters of the Immaculata when she was 14. But she didn’t think religious life was for her.
At 19, she took the opportunity to travel to Krakow, Poland for World Youth Day with the Immaculata Community and discovered a thirst for Eucharistic adoration. The pilgrims also had an opportunity to pray with the relics of St Therese of Lisieux – a saint to whom Sr Celine Marie had always been close.
“We were in adoration with her relics … and I felt her say to me: ‘Take another look at religious life.’”
In 2017 she took part in a five-month mission school for young people run by the Sisters and returned home to New South Wales. Six months later she prayed a novena to discern her calling with the sisters.
“At the end of the novena God really spoke to me and gave me a really clear sign that I was meant to step out.”