“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.”

“When I was in first grade, we had a good Irish pastor. He would ask our class who wanted to be a sister, and all the girls would raise their hands,” says Sister Mary Sheila Fay, 84, a member of the Sisters of Notre Dame in Thousand Oaks, California.

“What I know about religion comes primarily from my parents and the parish priest,” says Sister Rita Polchin, 87, a member of the Sisters of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Danville, Pennsylvania.

Originally from Galway, Ireland, Father Thomas Greaney entered  the Order of Friar Servants of Mary (Servites) when he was 24 years old. At the time, he’d already been working for a few years, but, as he says, “I was looking for something to get more involved.”