Nazareth House Durban
My name is Sister Lorraine Akal. I am from the South African Region and my birth country is South Africa.
As we always say. We do not choose God, instead God chooses us.
The first inclination of my vocation was after my 21st birthday, when I felt the need to move from Durban to Cape Town. I had been working several years for a Shipping Company, and continued working for them in their Cape Town branch. It was not long before I joined the Arthur Murray dancing Studio in the Cape, and for some months thoroughly enjoyed my dancing. I lived in at Villa Maria Girls Hostel, run by the Schoenstatt Sisters, with a 15 minute walk to work.
That same year I took ill in July, and I was in bed for a few days. I became very conscious of something taking place within me. I felt this strong desire to serve the Lord. ‘Could this be true?’ I said to myself in shock . As the days passed, the feelings became a reality and so my journey began.
I entered the Sisters of Nazareth in Melbourne, Australia 1967 and having worked for 8 years, it took time to adjust to a new way of life I felt called to. To this day I have never looked back. In four years’ time I hope to celebrate my Golden Jubilee, and I thank the Lord for walking the path with me.
Nazareth House, Durban, is where I live.
Established in 1895, the Nazareth Sisters continue to care for the aged and the sick. This dedication is enriched by their love for God and His people. As this year 2015 is the Year of Consecrated Life in the Church, I thank God for the past few years at Nazareth House, and that our work is still alive and active.
As a Sister of Nazareth, I am grateful to Victoire Larmenier (Our Foundress) for the wonderful heritage left to me and my fellow Sisters. I have had the privilege of working in all the Nazareth Houses in the South African Region, except our Port Elizabeth House, and to have shared many years, caring for under- privileged children, who were deprived of parental love.
Ten years of my life was in Formation, and I had to rely on the Lord’s strength and grace to accept this task. Little did I realize that I too was growing spiritually, not only nourishing those in my care, but felt nourished by the blessings and graces that came from above. For the remainder of my Religious Life I was given the office of leadership in Community.
My vocation to serve the Lord is a Divine calling and a gift from God. It is also a free choice and an invitation to come closer to the Him by embracing all people. It is an unconditional love reaching out to those in need, and letting them feel God’s love.
Called to be a Sister of Nazareth I live together in Community with my Sisters, and through them have grown in relationship and union with the Lord. As a Sister of Nazareth, I want to follow Victoire’s vision and mission, and keep her spirit alive.
Called to be...
I know the future of Religious Life is in the hands of Our Lord, and I recall the words of Jesus 'the harvest is great, but the laborers are few'.