Sr. Hae-Jin Lim is embraced during her perpetual profession in August. Photo courtesy B.C. Catholic

Canadian Salesians celebrate first vocation in 25 years

By  agnieszka ruck, Canadian Catholic News
  • October 23, 2021

VANCOUVER -- Sr. Hae-Jin Lim is quick to say her vocation story is about God’s faithfulness, not her own.

“I began my formation by getting ready to tell God: ‘I tried, but it didn’t work.’ ”

Lim entered the community of Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (also known as the Salesians) as a candidate 10 years ago due to her curious nature and the encouragement of a close friend who had been discerning priesthood at the time. She didn’t think she’d stay longer than a year.

But in August Lim made her perpetual profession, making solemn vows for a lifetime and becoming the first new fully professed Salesian sister in Canada in 25 years.

“It’s a celebration of God’s faithfulness to me. He waited for me for 10 years to come to a point where I could say, ‘yes, Lord, I am yours.’ It’s not about me making the perpetual profession, it’s about God’s faithfulness.”

Lim first encountered Salesians while living in her native Korea during a youth retreat. She remembers being moved by their love for young people, though joining them had not crossed her mind.

Now, her favourite part of her ministry as a Salesian sister is seeing young people being transformed.

“My motto for them, my attitude when I encounter young people, is: ‘it’s not enough to love them. It’s that they know that they are loved by me and by God,’ ” she said.

“Young people, they will do anything for anybody who loves them. Once they realize they are loved, they can do anything.”

She said her perpetual profession won’t change how she looks on the outside but has made a profound effect on her on the inside.

“I’m the same person, but I feel like something amazing happened to me. I feel more internal change, more commitment, more responsibility for my ministry and my identity. It’s not about what I do, it’s about who I am.”

The way Lim understands her ministry has also gone through a transformation in the last 10 years.

“I changed. My internal intention from the beginning was more like: ‘I have to save these kids, I have to help the young.’ But whatever I do, it’s not me. God is in there. He is doing it through me,” she said. “Now, “I’m less focused on me. My only thought is: ‘how can I express God’s love to the young people entrusted to me? What would Don Bosco do? What would Mary Mazzarello (founder of the Salesian Sisters) do?’”

Lim serves at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish (the only Salesian parish in B.C.) with two other Salesian sisters. Salesian priests have been active in the parish since 1974.

St. John Bosco founded the priestly Society of St. Francis de Sales (Salesian priests) in 1859 and less than a decade later established the Daughters of Mary, Help of Christians (Salesian sisters) for women with St. Mary Mazzarello. There are an estimated 11,000 Salesian sisters around the world. Salesian priests, brothers and seminarians number over 14,000 worldwide, including in parishes in Edmonton, Hamilton, Montreal and Toronto.

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location

Please support The Catholic Register

Unlike many media companies, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our website. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith-based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.