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Search for a way to go to heaven led a young girl to become a nun

As a young girl, Margaret Mary worshiped native deities and attended church along with her Baptist friends. But arguments between her Baptist and Catholic friends led Mary in a state of confusion. Mary waited, seeking God to guide her to make a choice.
Sister Margaret Mary of the Congregation of Reparation in Myanmar is sharing her vocation story in the church. (Photo: Supplied)

As a young girl, Margaret Mary worshiped native deities and attended church along with her Baptist friends. But arguments between her Baptist and Catholic friends led Mary in a state of confusion. Mary waited, seeking God to guide her to make a choice.

And a choice she did. Not only did Mary become a Catholic, but she committed her life to be a nun in service of others.

Sister Margaret Mary belongs to the Sisters of Reparation (ISR) in Myanmar. Sister Mary is filled with gratitude for being a human being, choosing to be Catholic among diverse beliefs, and being a religious nun among varied vocations.

“I was not a Catholic and did not grow up from a pious family. As my parents worshiped their respective God, but they allowed their children to choose their own religious belief,” Sister Mary told RVA News.

Today, Sister Mary’s seven siblings are all Catholics. And her father, who was a Baptist before, finally joined the Catholic community.

“When I was young, I used to follow my friends and attended their Baptist church,” she recalled.

 Although Sister Mary did not understand the God of her friends, she went to their church because she wanted to play together with her friends and to hear the Bible stories about the Prodigal Son in the New Testament and Joseph whom his brothers in the Old Testament sold out.

“I wanted to listen to those stories though I did not know that it was Catechism. I thought there were many gods because my friends used to debate with one another about religion,” Sister Mary says.

 Her friends debated, “Our religion is the best religion that could make us reach heaven.”

Her Catholic friends also argued, “Our Catholic religion that Christ founded was the excellent religion that could make us reach heaven.”

Due to the debate between friends, Mary got confused about religion and God.

“I was so confused about religions when I heard their debate. When I visited the Baptist church, I saw that they prayed in a loud voice. I thought their God was the God who answered their prayers only when they prayed in shouting,” Sister Mary shared her experience.

Mary then went to a Catholic church.

“When I went to a Catholic church, I saw the faithful were praying kneeling and in silence. It came to my mind that in order their prayers to be answered people need to humble themselves and kneel,” Sister Mary recollects.

Sister Margaret Mary grew up among the Spirit Worshipers (Animists).

“When I saw the Spirit worshipers who offered animal to Nat (Spirit) by killing, my thought was that their God answered their prayers only when they fed meat to Him.”

After being familiar with the beliefs of her friends both Baptists and Catholics, Sister Mary wanted inspiration from God for her to follow true religion.

She said, “I prayed: Oh my God! I wanted the religion that could make me reach heaven.”

Mary had to stay in a boarding house in the other village to attend school. Some priests and catechists taught catechism and hymns including the sacraments.

“When I was taught the sacraments in detail, I thought that this religion was the only religion that could make me reach heaven. Then, I told the priest that I wanted to be baptized and become a member of the Catholic Church,” Mary says.

“I was satisfied with myself to become a Catholic and so grateful to God. There is holy Eucharist. This is great gratitude that cannot be compared to other things. God revealed His hidden precious treasure. Therefore, I am so proud of myself to be a Catholic,” the nun said.

The nun is grateful to God for allowing her to choose the Sisters of Reparation among other religious congregations.

“I am serving God with gladness even though there are many difficulties. Although I have experienced many challenges to walk as a religious woman, I learned many lessons from my experiences,” Sister Mary confesses.

Sister Mary acknowledges that experience is the best teacher to keep walking forward despite challenges.

The nun is disturbed by the current situation in Myanmar. She is empathetic towards her indigenous people fleeing their residences to avoid political conflict.

Sister May grew up in Chin State, which she considers the poorest and slowest developing state compared to other states in Myanmar. But the nun says that God has blessed the state with natural beauty.

The nun recalls that people were living in peace, but now, people are fleeing and becoming victims of war due to the political situation.

Sister Mary keeps her people close to her heart in her daily prayer. “May the true God in whom we trust liberate my people from the sea of troubles,” she says encouraging people to keep their faith and hope for good to come.

“Therefore, I encourage you all to keep patient and rely on God with great faith and hope,” she offers a message to those in despair.

Sister Margaret Mary serves at the “Home for the aged poor” in Yangon, Myanmar.


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.