Skip to main content

Her Vocation Story – Orlanda Leyba

My Vocation Story

“It saddened me not to have family around when we received the habit. I remember going to my “cell” and spending the day by my-self, with no provision made for those of us who didn’t have family present. It was also hard when my classmates excitedly left for a home visit and I, of course couldn’t until 4 years later… What got me through those early years was that my whole life was programmed, from morning till night and I liked that! I also loved the times of silence: meals, night, silent retreat, etc. Little by little the Holy Spirit gently led me to accept this strange house as my home and these women as my sisters, and my life has never been so incredibly blessed!”

Read more about the experiences of Sisters from New Mexico in Tapestry in Time The Story of the Dominican Sisters Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1966-2012.

Fortified with deep faith, a strong sense of family, a love of creation and life, many responded to the call to “Come and See.” [Sisters] Their travel to Michigan was not without fear.

It was leaving the familiar and going into truly unknown territory. Sisters recall their early experience. “I missed the sky and mountains. It never seemed to stop raining. It felt like the sun would never appear again.” “I had to get used to eating things I had never heard of, like sauerkraut and brussel sprouts. The first time Sauerkraut was served I refused saying it was no good and obviously rotten. Now I love it.” One sister in an attempt to make up for the loss of red and green chile would use an abundance of pepper on her food. She tells the time in which Sr. Leonora told her that she should not consume so much pepper because it was bad for her passions. “I said that I had been eating hot red and green peppers all my life and there was nothing wrong with my passions” Laughingly she adds, “I didn’t know what my passions were but I wasn’t having any trouble.”