“When I was growing up and on the day of my profession, my aunt—whom I always called Mom—asked me why I wanted to be a sister,” recalls Sister Mary Therese Kirstein, a member of the Sisters of Notre Dame of Thousand Oaks, California. “I said ‘because I love God, and I want to serve him.’”

“When I was little, I lived close to a convent,” says Sister Beatriz Cortés, a member of the Missionaries Guadalupanas of the Holy Spirit in Los Angeles, California. “The bells rang, and I could hear the sisters singing. I wanted to be part of that.”