Sister Teresa Liu, SDSH

I was born in Taipei, Taiwan where the majority of the population is Buddhist. I am the second of three among my brothers. My mother was the only one in her family who was baptized as a Catholic after being influenced by missionaries. My father became a Catholic out of his love for my mother. I remember since I was a little girl, we would walk to church every Saturday evening or Sunday morning for Mass. It is one of my dearest memories of family time.

When I was about 9 years old, my pastor announced that we will have a new religious community from America to teach at our parish, Blessed Sacrament Church. That was the first time I met the Sacred Heart Sisters. My first impression of the Sisters was their peace and joy.

Even though the Sisters did not wear a traditional habit, their love for God exceeded the traditional habit, they had an “interior religious habit.” Gradually, I met more Sacred Heart Sisters over the years and realized the simple beige and the Sacred Heart badge is the habit of the Sisters.

God planted the seed of a religious vocation when I met the Sisters. I distinctively remember standing on the play ground and watching all the children when I was in 5th grade knowing I desired to have the same peace and joy as the Sisters. The Sisters had fun and laughed. At that time, I knew that God has a special place for me when I grow up. I believe this was a grace of God and I am grateful that I never forgot this special moment. Since then, even though I had other dreams I wanted to fulfill, the desire of becoming a Sister never left my mind.

I grew up as any other child in Taiwan. School was the main focus of my life and it was very intense. My mother decided to send me, at the age of 15, to Melbourne, Australia to be with my aunt’s family and to continue my studies free from the pressures of studying in Taiwan. My mom wanted me to enjoy studies without becoming an academic “stuffed duck.” This was a big decision and a great sacrifice from my parents. However, their sacrifice positively changed my life. Before I left the country, my mom took me to shop for all the necessities which included a rosary and a prayer candle. After I moved to Australia, I always had a prayer corner in my room. I did not have a formal prayer life, but I would talk to God as a friend about my life and family.

A few months before I graduated from high school, I learned that my mother had cancer and was going to die. I quit school and went back to Taiwan to be with my mother in the last three months of her life. I prayed to God and asked for His help everyday. My mother was a very faith-filled person. We would read the scripture and pray together in the hospital. It was during that time, God called me to become a religious. I repeatedly told God that it was very bad timing: my mom was dying and I had to take care of my dad and my brothers. Nevertheless, God was very insistent, but gentle. I contacted the Sacred Heart Sister at my parish and shared with her about my prayer. After serious discussion, we went and asked my parents’ blessing to enter the Sacred Heart Sisters. My mother was very supportive, but there were many obstacles from the rest of my family. My aunt and uncle even offered to pay for my full college tuition in Australia and a new car. I am so grateful to God for giving me the graces I needed at the time. It was extremely hard to leave my family after the death of my mom, but I trusted that God would take care of my worries if I put my trust in Him. He did not disappoint me.

I am grateful to God for allowing me to know Him and love Him. He guided me since I was a little girl and brought me to the place which He prepared for me since I was in 5th grade. Actually, He prepared it before I was even born. I entered the Society Devoted to the Sacred Heart in 1999 at the age of 20. My perpetual profession was on March 25, 2006. He continues to love me through the Sisters of the Society Devoted to His Sacred Heart. I pray and ask for the gift of faith that I can keep responding to His love. Please join me in this prayer and I am also praying for you.