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Entering the Convent at Age 23

What is it like to be a Millennial entering the convent? Sister Fiat says, “it’s an act of love to give ourselves” and “love does crazy things, right?” Her love, as you can see, radiates through authentic joy — and will change the way you think about sisters.
Sr. Fiat (whose baptismal name is Rachel) joined the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration as a postulant in the Summer of 2016. The postulant year is a time of further discernment in preparation to receive the habit and become a member of the community.
The congregation allowed Grotto Network to film Rachel getting her hair cut in preparation of becoming a sister in August 2017 and professing her final vows in seven more years.
On August 1, 2017, she received the habit (veil) and the name Fiat, which is Latin for “let it be” in reference to Mary’s response to the angel Gabriel when he asked her to bear Christ to the world.

Video Transcript

Sister Fiat Staley: Sister Lois said, “You know, you could just be one of those people who shaves the side of their head.” I said, “Sister Lois, do you remember like four years ago when I did that?” She was like, “Oh. Yeah,” because she thought it was crazy.

Sister Fiat entered the convent at age 23.

Sister Fiat: Saint Teresa of Calcutta has this wonderful quote, “The Lord doesn’t ask for success. He asks for fidelity.” The world tells us to be successful is to be rich, powerful, or in the limelight, but with the Lord, success is measured in a different way.

It’s just if we love Him and we’re trying to love Him, that’s enough, and how freeing that is to know that, and joy is so attractive, right? If we see someone living that authentic joy, we desire it as well, so that is very much my experience. As I saw the sisters’ true joy, that drew me very deeply into the invitation of this life.

In anticipation of taking final vows and wearing a habit, Sister Fiat’s usually long hair must be cut short.

Sister Fiat: It’s not over yet.

Speaker 2: Oh my gosh. There’s half a head up there.

Speaker 3: Look at that hair!

Sister Fiat: I know. I told you!

Sister Fiat: As Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration, we have a specific adoration chapel set aside to adore Jesus 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so there are always two sisters there before Him.

Yeah. That means that some nights I get up in the middle of the night at 1:30. I try to pull myself up out of bed. It’s an act of love to give ourselves.

One of the sacrifices is not being around our family in the same way. I don’t get to go home and see my family whenever I want. I send them letters, and they send us letters. It’s different. It certainly was a little bit of a challenge to figure out that new form of communication, because I don’t think I ever wrote letters to my family before, but it really is beautiful.

It might seem kind of crazy to be seeing a 24-year-old leaving the world and preparing to be living in a convent as a young adult, but love does crazy things. Right?

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