Sister Megan Grewing, native of Muenster, renews temporary vows with Divine Providence sisters
SAN ANTONIO — Sister Megan Grewing, CDP, still has a prayer card from a high school Confirmation retreat hosted by Sacred Heart Parish in Muenster. That retreat was foundational for her faith journey.
Her Confirmation retreat ignited her personal relationship with God. “I knew about God, but I didn’t know God prior to having that experience.”
She was particularly struck by a talk explaining “the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.” After that retreat, Sister Grewing recalled, “I felt like I knew God so much more personally in my life.”
Fast forward to July 26, 2020, the day before her 36th birthday, Sister Grewing renewed her temporary vows with the Congregation of Divine Providence (CDP). In a videochat with the North Texas Catholic, Sister Grewing recalled her vocational journey, starting with her family and home parish in Muenster and following God’s call to service of others. She encouraged all Catholics to consider the religious life and asked that the people of the Diocese of Fort Worth pray for discerning women by name.
Sister Grewing grew up in what she described as a “typical German Catholic town, a typical German Catholic family.” She attended public school and was enrolled in religious education. “I was born, raised, went through all of my sacraments in that town,” she said.
After graduating high school, Grewing became involved in Catholic campus ministry at North Central Texas College and later at Midwestern State University. While she had known of religious sisters and nuns in Muenster, Grewing first developed a personal relationship with two sisters when she began her master’s degree at San Angelo State University. Sister Malachy Griffin, OP, impressed Grewing with her casual clothing and plain manner of speaking, and Sister Kathy Kudlac, a School Sister of St. Francis, encouraged Grewing to explore her vocational calling.
When Grewing told her parents and siblings that she was considering the religious life, they were not surprised. “Why didn’t you tell me?” she asked them. “My mom said, ‘We didn’t want you to feel pressured.’”
“I really wanted my life to be about service,” Grewing said. “One day the director of the Catholic Campus Center [told] me that I was the only one who had actually made all of the volunteer activities for the year.”
At one such event, Grewing encountered the Congregation of Divine Providence. She exchanged contact information with them and had a brief correspondence. “And then we had this little lull where nothing happened,” she recalled.
But “God didn’t want me to get away from them.”
Two sisters of the CDP encountered her parents at a party in southern Texas several weeks later. The sisters called Grewing and asked, “Is this your idea or did your parents put you up to this?” When Grewing assured them that it was, in fact, her own idea, they arranged for a visit.
Soon Grewing became an affiliate, then a resident affiliate. She joined the pre-novitiate program, became a novice, and in June 2017, she made her temporary vows: “I pledge to this group of women my unique contribution of self — all that I am and yet can be — in service to Your Son that together we may give witness that You became human and lived among us.” She keeps a copy of these vows in her chapel.
Three years later, Sister Grewing has recently renewed her temporary vows of poverty, celibacy and abandonment to Divine Providence with the Congregation of Divine Providence, which ministers throughout Texas, and a few other states, as well as Mexico.
These days, Sister Grewing is living out her call to service as a licensed professional counselor at Gratia Plena Catholic Counseling Agency in Houston. “I can see Jesus in the people I serve,” she said. “I will have God moments throughout my day…. Those energize me.”
Another way that Sister Grewing feels “re-energized” is by returning to Muenster to visit with her family and attend her home parish of Sacred Heart. Although Sacred Heart Parish has been renovated since Sister Grewing moved away, she said, “it’s good to be back around the same parishioners that have known me for my whole life.”
Sister Grewing encouraged families to talk with their children about the religious life, and she also motivated young Catholics to seriously consider their vocational calling. “Be bold,” she said, “be brave. This is a gorgeous life that everyone should consider…. If you are having that call in your heart, you will have so many people to help you along the way. One of the best places to start is by calling the Diocesan Office for Vocations… or if you’re on a college campus, get to your Newman Center.”
Sister Grewing asked local parishioners to pray for women from the Diocese of Fort Worth going through the discernment process. “Pray for them by name,” she said.
More information about the Congregation of Divine Providence can be found at cdptexas.org.