A Sister Reflects


Why Was I Born?

This week's blog comes to us from Sister Anele Heiges, OP, Vice President of the International Public Policy Institute, NGO at United Nations, NY/ Professor of Global and Universe Education and Mentor of Young World Leaders.


"Weaving hands" by Hans Splinter, Flickr creative commons.

As a young woman in late teens growing up in Santa Cruz, California on the Pacific Coast, dating interesting young men and thinking of the future, my inner self was asking, “Why was I born?” Happy childhood memories of riding ocean waves on my doctor-father’s shoulders rode quietly at anchor. While bobbing in the ocean he and I conversed about how it joined other big and little pieces of water and touched the lands of many people on earth. He inspired me to find ways as a service person to relate with those people and also respectfully learn from them. A global soul was softly being nurtured by God. 

After Holy Cross High School, the question of, “Why was I born?” finally yearned for a global service response, but how could that happen? God’s Holy Spirit kept luring insistently at hours of day or night. I dialogued with good people of different nationalities, life-callings, and various groups of Catholic Sisters. The consistent openness of Adrian Dominicans and their expansive worldview that came from prayerful spirits stole my heart. They were mostly happy people. Finally some of them kindly invited me to give their way of life a try. After prayerful thoughtful times in a deep inner place of listening, I accepted God’s call extended through exquisite Dominican women.

After going to Adrian, Michigan, I learned with other new Dominicans about our life, mission and the worldwide beauty of living in community to work toward bringing more justice, peace and integrity of creation into our world. Wise people tell us that God creates ways to ease people onto their life path and engage them in that process. Early assignments with indigenous peoples in Arizona schools taught me about how humans and all life share in universe and earth consciousness. Then years of college and university ministry were mingled with visitors from the United Nations. They extended invitation to New York to engage there in creative world service. The Adrian Dominicans lovingly helped me accept that invitation after prayerfully discerning God’s true call to global service that had been nurtured years before.

Life’s learnings from Dominicans and other groups, including indigenous peoples, have taught me the following: “Weave beautifully your small thread in the grand tapestry pattern which was laid out for us by the God of heaven.” (Turtle Island Grandmothers Council)

With heart overflowing with gratitude, I thank our Sisters for loving companionship in community living and service to the world. Likewise Dominican women did for me years ago in Santa Cruz, California; I here invite interested readers to give this life a try. It can be wonderfully surprising. I am praying for you.



Comments are closed.
Showing 2 Comments
Avatar  Charlie McGuire last year

Hello Sr. Anele. Hope all is well with you. Love to hear from you. Now living in another State.
All the Best, Charlie McGuire

Avatar  Marilyn Winter last year

Thanks, Anele, for a heartwarming and personal witness to our life as Dominican women. I have always appreciated your initiative and your willingness to take risks and now see how a trust to do that was nurtured in you. Blessings.





Sister Lorraine Réaume, OP
Director of Formation

Sister Sara Fairbanks, OP
Director of Vocations, East Coast-Midwest Vocations Promoter


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