Sr. Linda Strayer FDNSC United States of America
I was born the eldest of 7 children in 1948 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. It is to my parents that I owe both my life and my faith. In primary and secondary school, I was taught by Religious Sisters and priests. My mother was a nurse, and when I was about twelve years old, the desire came to me to become a missionary nurse in Africa. This desire returned when I was in the later years of secondary school when we had a Vocation’s Day, and a Daughter of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart came to speak at our high school.
I remember that she spoke of the spirituality of our Congregation, devoted to the Sacred Heart and giving a special place to the Blessed Mother, and that the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart have missions all over the world, including Africa – my dream. From that time on I, kept in contact with the Sisters but couldn’t really make up my mind to enter until about two years after high school, having already begun nursing. One night about 3 am I couldn’t sleep. God’s call seemed to take me over completely and that night I made my decision and wrote the letter asking to enter.
The congregation accepted me and so I entered on September 8, 1969. I have always been gratefulfor God’s insistent call that night. For the first 20 years after entering, I worked as a nurse in the USA and then in South Africa. Then, after some further studies, I was asked to join the team of our Spiritual Formation Center in Issoudun, France, our foundation place, and was there for 18 years. During that time our team offered programs both in Issoudun and around the world. Consequently, I have been in 15 different countries and have had the privilege of meeting many of our Sisters and experience first hand, how and where they live. Since September 2015, I have been assigned to Rome, as our congregational general archivist.
My life has been a varied and fascinating one and continues to be so. My constant refrain in prayer has been gratitude for all that has been and all that will continue to be.