Judy Bowe (Leader)

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I joined the MGL Sisters in January 1991. Until a short time before this I had no desire for religious life and had strong ambitions in the direction of marriage and children. My plans changed completely when I fell in love with Jesus.

As a child I had seen faith in my family and in some of my teachers at school. In my university years, when I studied Art Education, and afterwards I remained actively involved in the Church but found it a challenge to integrate my faith with my daily life. I felt that I didn't have enough faith to pass it on to others as a teacher. This motivated me to keep searching for a deeper experience of faith.

During a year of backpacking around Europe I went to Medjudgorie for a week and felt my faith awakened in a whole new way. I realised God was very real, and that I needed to follow Jesus with my whole life instead of fitting Him into my plans when convenient. I had arrived there quite cynical, but left there with a hunger for prayer and a desire to centre my life on God. Even at this stage when someone suggested religious life to me I was both horrified and amused. It was not part of my plans at all.

Shortly after coming back to Australia I was invited to attend a Summer School of Evangelisation run by the Disciples of Jesus Covenant Community. The large number of young people I met there with a deep faith that obviously affected their lives amazed me. I recognised in them a quality of faith I had been looking for. I was encouraged by this to seek a deeper, personal relationship with Jesus. When in prayer I tried to hand my life over to Jesus and asked for the grace to really know Him, I experienced His love for me in a way I hadn't known was possible. I knew he was with me, that he knew me and loved me intimately. I knew He was inviting me to get to know Him, to fall in love with Him and to live for him. This was a turning point in my life and the answer to the search I'd had for "real" faith. I knew immediately that I wanted to live out my faith as the young people and families I'd met in Disciples of Jesus Covenant Community lived out theirs. It wasn't long before I felt the Lord inviting me to live exclusively for Him.

Full of a sense of privilege and excitement I recognised that what would have horrified me just a short time before was what I wanted to do more than anything. Now, understanding that religious life meant being able to focus entirely on Jesus whose love I'd glimpsed, and to spend my energies to let others share in His love, it was all I wanted to do.

During my years in this MGL life, the challenges and struggles I've faced, as well as the highpoints have confirmed over and over again that this is where I want to spend my life. Depending on Jesus in the seemingly impossible challenges of ministry and leadership brings me closer to Him.

Living our lifestyle of prayer and evangelisation gives me life. Living as an MGL Sister makes me feel more than anything else that I am being who I was made to be. I want to love Jesus above all else, to allow Jesus to be everything for me and to allow God to use my life to let others come to know their dignity in the light of God's love. I thank God for this call on my life.

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