Sister Hannah Barnett, SDSH

I am the youngest of five children, with an identical twin sister. My parents were very involved in our parish, St. Martha in Murrieta, CA.  At age nine, I had the chance to attend Sacred Heart Girls’ Camp in Big Bear for the first time.  It was my first experience with the Sacred Heart Sisters (or any Sisters) and I loved the week at camp.

The week of camp I remember most happened when I was ten.  One night, two of the Sisters shared their vocation stories. As I listened, God whispered, “This could be you.”  It was just that simple.  It was a very comforting thought for me to consider being a Sister.

I didn’t share this call from God with anyone until I was 15.  Although I hadn’t seen the Sisters in several years, God’s invitation hadn’t weakened at all. After being invited to a vocation day, I finally had the courage to tell my parents that I was open to the possibility of religious life.  By sharing it with others, I was able to accept God’s invitation a little more.

As I prepared for high school graduation, religious life was the last thing on my mind.  My plans were to go to Saint Mary’s College of California where I received a scholarship.   Yet in all this, I never asked God what He wanted for me; instead I was telling Him what I wanted for me.

During the summer before college, I returned to Girls’ Camp for the first time in four years, this time serving as a counselor.  One night at campfire, as we read the Scriptures together, I was sitting near the back, talking with God.  I realized I would only be truly happy doing what God asked.  So I told Him, “I give you my life.  I give you my heart. I give you my plans. Whatever you ask of me, I will do it.” His call came back: “This is you. This is who I have created you to be.”  I knew He was asking me to give myself completely to Him as a Sister.

I started college that fall and enjoyed my classes, making new friends, being on my own.  After attending a retreat with our Sisters during Christmas break, I knew God was calling me to enter the Sacred Heart Sisters that year.

On September 15, 2010 I entered the Society Devoted to the Sacred Heart.  I professed my first vows on March 23, 2013, and was blessed to make my perpetual profession on March 30, 2019.  I am truly happy doing what God wants me to do.  In fact, I am more joyful than I ever thought it was possible to be.