[00:00:28] Hello, everybody. What’s up. Welcome back to another episode of Hear and Now Podcast. I am so excited to welcome Sister Allison Gliot onto the show today to talk about her vocation and just really how to hear God’s voice for real. So sister Alison, welcome to the show. Yeah.
[00:00:42] Sister Allison Gliot: [00:00:42] Thank you so much, Sophia. It’s good to be here
[00:00:44] Sophia Lebano: [00:00:44] Why don’t you start off by introducing yourself to the audience?
[00:00:49]Sister Allison Gliot: [00:00:49] So my name is sister Alison and I am currently a novice with the daughters of St. Paul. So I’ve been in the community for about four years now. I actually just celebrated my four year anniversary on January 8th. but I will hopefully be making my vows sometimes this summer and, you know, receiving the religious habit and taking on a religious name and, you know, being a nun officially.
[00:01:16] Sophia Lebano: [00:01:16] That’s exciting. So do you have any plans for what your new name would be?
[00:01:23] Sister Allison Gliot: [00:01:23] A lot of people have asked you that about that, actually. And that’s something that usually we would discern kind of, we have a final eight day silent retreat before we make. Profession of religious vows.
[00:01:34] And so kind of at that time, we’re praying about that more and seeing what Jesus has in mind for us, and really nobody finds out what it is besides the provincial government who has to prove to approve it and everything. But nobody else finds out what it is until the day of my profession. When they call me up to the altar and say, sister, Alison.
[00:01:54] So-and-so, you know, whatever I choose you know, and I say, here I am. So it, it’s, it’s really a beautiful part of the profession ceremony for everyone to find out what I chose.
[00:02:04] Sophia Lebano: [00:02:04] I am excited to hear that. So are you going to be announcing it on your social media after you
[00:02:10] Sister Allison Gliot: [00:02:10] afterwards? I mean, that’ll be my name then.
[00:02:13] Sophia Lebano: [00:02:13].
[00:02:13] So I love it. Yeah. So I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who are not necessarily Catholic and have some questions for you. So why don’t you talk a little bit more about the order that you’re part of and how you kind of came to decide that that was what you wanted to be part of?
[00:02:29] Sister Allison Gliot: [00:02:29] Sure. So the daughters of St.
[00:02:31] Paul are also known on social media as the hashtag media nuns. And that’s because our mission is to evangelize using all forms of communications media. So we were founded over 100 years ago in Italy by Blessed James Alberiona. And he had the inspiration as a teenager, actually, that in this new century that he was entering into that the people of today needed to hear the gospel in terms that they were familiar with.
[00:02:59] And so he wanted there to be sisters that were printing books and writing books. And that was kind of unheard of at that time. But then when the radio came out and he was like, well, we got to do that for the gospel too. And when television came out, he was like, okay, let’s start making movies. And actually he was the first one to make color films in Italy.
[00:03:19] And so ever since then, the sisters have, we’ve grown all over the world. We’re in over 50 different countries international and we’ve adopted all of the new means as they come out, kind of using them for Jesus. To meet people where they are and tell them about Jesus. And so that’s a big reason why I’m on social media.
[00:03:37]I wouldn’t be doing it just for personal reasons, but I really want to share the love of Jesus with everyone. And you’ll find a lot of other media nuns there too. Because that’s a part of our ministry to spread the gospel to the people of today.
[00:03:49] Sophia Lebano: [00:03:49] I think that’s so cool because you guys are really just progressive with the rest of the world and keeping up with that.
[00:03:55] Cause a lot of times, you know, I was raised around IHM nuns and so a lot of them are very, very old fashioned, 1950s nun. So it’s very, very cool that you guys are kind of staying up to the times and really just accepting, you know, the 20, 21 world at this point. So what has been your timeline of becoming a non, so, you know, their last couple of years as a novice and so on.
[00:04:17] Sister Allison Gliot: [00:04:17] So for the initial formation looks a little different from order to order, but with my congregation after you entered the community, you spend about two years as a postulant. Which is the first step when you really kind of adjusting to what it is like to live in the convent and kind of figuring everything out and learning what the schedule’s like, but you’re praying with the sisters you’re working with them and kind of discerning more deeply is this really where God wants me to be? And then after that point, if you discern, yes, this is still, you know, where I feel like Jesus is calling me. You become a novice and that’s another two years. And during that time, it’s a little bit more intense studying what the vows of religious life really are.
[00:05:00] So poverty, chastity, and obedience are the vows that all religious take to consecrate themselves to Jesus. And so learning what that is and learning about the constitution of my particular congregation is another big part of that because I’m going to be vowing to follow those faithfully my whole life.
[00:05:19] So I got to know, you know, what they say, like what it needs. And so that’s a big part of being a novice. And then another part of that is going on Apostolic experience, which is actually the part that I just got back from. So for about four months, the novices go and live in a small community, somewhere around the country with different sisters than we had been living with.
[00:05:39] And kind of learn what it is like to just do the mission full-time with the sisters living kind of like as a professed sister and getting the experience that we need to really like, see, this is what it’s going to be like after you make vows, like, like to be able to tell, you know, okay, this is really like where I fit, where I feel comfortable, where, where Jesus is still calling me.
[00:06:00] this stage that I’m in lasts about two years, I have about six months to go give or take a few months. And then the last couple weeks and months of that will be more proximate preparation for actually doing the religious profession ceremony and everything that comes along with that. So it’s a long process, but it’s good that we have all the time.
[00:06:22] Sophia Lebano: [00:06:22] No, absolutely. how has kind of, COVID changed your experience with, you know, so you were in, was it Louisiana? Were you in new Orleans? Okay. Yeah. So how was that experience for you during the pandemic as well?
[00:06:34] Sister Allison Gliot: [00:06:34] Well, it’s definitely been interesting to see how our mission has kind of adapted to these times, because one of our major ministries across the country that we do is we run book centers.
[00:06:45]So like bookstores, religious bookstores, where people can come and there’s a chapel there where they can pray that has the Eucharist. And it’s been a little bit difficult during the pandemic because obviously not as many people are going book shopping. And we have to take all of the safety measures for ourselves, but it’s also opened up our mission in a lot of ways, because.
[00:07:03] We were founded to use all the ways of communications to communicate. And so with the explosion in digital communication, that’s kind of happened with the pandemic. We really tried to make the most of that and see where the Holy spirit is inviting us now. You know, to kind of work with that. And so a lot more has been done on social media or on YouTube, different things like that to, to reach people when they’re stuck at
[00:07:25] Sophia Lebano: [00:07:25].
[00:07:26] I’m sure there’s been an increase in like making tik tons and things like that, but no, I think that’s really cool that you guys are really taking advantage of the time and mission that you’ve been given in your ministry. So. How did, the big question, how did you discover that you wanted to be a nun?
[00:07:44] Sister Allison Gliot: [00:07:44] For me, it was a really long journey. Like some of the sisters in my congregation, you talked to them too. Like from the time I was like four, I knew I wanted to be a sister. And I have to say that was not on my radar at all, as a child or as a teenager, or really as a young adult until I was in college. I didn’t really think about it all that much, but.
[00:08:02] When I was in college, I went to the Catholic university of America in Washington, DC. And the first time I was really around a lot of priests and religious before in my life. I hadn’t really encountered that many before then. And that was also the first time I met young Catholics who were really excited about their faith and really had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
[00:08:24] And at that point I kind of realized that my faith relationship was still very lacking with Jesus. I kind of looked at him like an invisible Santa Claus. You know, I, I say my prayers and he gives me what I need and that’s great, but like, it doesn’t go any further than that. But when I met people who really knew Jesus personally and talked about him, like he was the most amazing person in the world,
[00:08:46] I’m like, I gotta meet this guy. And so I started doing more for my prayer life. I started going more to daily mass. And, you know, doing Eucharistic praise and worship adoration, or just sitting quietly in front of the tabernacle. And when I did those things and started praying more with scripture and like putting the effort in and making time to listen to God, I started being able to hear his voice more clearly in my life and getting to know him.
[00:09:13] And so it was really through falling in love with Jesus that I felt drawn to religious life. It wasn’t on my plan originally. Like it, wasn’t what I originally thought I’d be doing with my life. But when I realized that I really wanted my whole life to revolve around God, to revolve around Jesus, it was kind of a natural choice.
[00:09:31] And then there were people around to really help me out, you know, different priests and religious. My best friend really encouraged me a lot in my vocation and kind of pushed me to meet different nuns and stuff. So all of that really kind of helped lead the way to seeing, like, is this really where God wants me to be?
[00:09:46] Is this where I’m the happiest? And it was, you know, so I still feel that Jesus is calling me here. So. I’m still here.
[00:09:54] Sophia Lebano: [00:09:54] Absolutely. Did you ever have any doubts about this being your vocation? Because I know I’m sure a lot of people were like, Ooh, I don’t know if I could give this up to view with Jesus like
[00:10:05] Sister Allison Gliot: [00:10:05] this, you know?
[00:10:07] Yeah. Well, I think that. It’s a process of discernment. Even after you enter the convent, it’s not like they lock the doors and you’re never allowed to leave again. Like the whole point of initial formation is really to help you discern, is this really what I’m called to do with my life? Because the sisters, like, yes, they want me to be here, but they also want me to be where God wants me to be.
[00:10:30] They’re not going to try to work against his will to pretend that I have a vocation, if I don’t. And so really it’s this process of working together with the community. To figure out like, okay, I think this really is what I made for, what I’m called to do with my life. And I know for me it was really difficult for me to make the first step of commitment and actually apply to the order because I always had questions of like, well, what if there’s something better out there for me to do?
[00:10:55] What if there’s another order that I should be with? But my spiritual director who was a Franciscan priest gave me some really good advice when I was kind of on the fence about it. And he said that sometimes to see what’s on the other side of the bridge, you have to start crossing the bridge or you’re going to see it.
[00:11:11] And you can always turn around later. If you figure out that you don’t like what’s on the other side, but if you really want to know, you just got to commit and like take the first steps. And that was really what I felt God calling me to do. And so I did it, I applied and was just kind of like, okay, well, I’ll see how it goes.
[00:11:29] And then, you know, if I don’t like it, I can leave. Or if I don’t feel like this is where I’m supposed to be, I can leave. I haven’t felt that way yet, so
[00:11:36] Sophia Lebano: [00:11:36] Well, good. I’m glad that you haven’t wanted to run away yet. How did your family respond when you told them that you were feeling called to this particular vocation?
[00:11:46]Sister Allison Gliot: [00:11:46] Well, it was, I think different for each, each family member. My little sisters were not terribly surprised. I don’t think they knew how much I like do this and how much I like going to church and stuff. So I think they kind of saw it coming. I know my parents were a little surprised at first, like I think it was just a recalibration of the way that they thought my life would go, because you know, it’s a little bit unexpected when your daughter comes home and says, I don’t think I’m going to get married.
[00:12:13] I think I’m going to, you know, Become a nun, a little different, but they were, they were very supportive actually, when they got used to the idea that that was really what I wanted to do and saw how happy I was to be at the convent and when they were able to come visit me here and see really like meet the sisters and how much of a family it was for me they’re very at peace with it. Now they’re very supportive. So I couldn’t have asked for a better reaction from them to be honest.
[00:12:40] Sophia Lebano: [00:12:40] I’m glad I, I probably would say if I came home, my siblings wouldn’t be surprised since I’m a theology major, but they would be like, are you really sure that’s what you want to do?
[00:12:54]So I think, no, I’m glad that they really received that well. And of course the other question that I get a lot. Is how did you really know that God was calling you to that? And it wasn’t something that you kind of created for yourself?
[00:13:05] Sister Allison Gliot: [00:13:05] Well, I think that. Jesus did not start out with me saying, I want you to become a nun.
[00:13:13] Like our relationship really grew gradually in smaller ways. but the more that I prayed and grew in my prayer life and learned to recognize Jesus’s voice in other areas of my life, the more I could kind of feel him calling me to this bigger thing and whatever I was feeling, kind of panicky or like, I don’t think I really want to do this.
[00:13:34] I think I want to do this something else. I really would just try to keep my eyes on him and just to focus on him. And when I looked back at him, everything was less scary, everything became more clear about my path of what he wanted me to do. But I definitely wasn’t doing it alone. I had a really good spiritual director that I talked to about kind of the inspirations that I thought I was feeling from God.
[00:13:56]I had different. Friends that I, I talked to you about my faith life and that we would talk together about it, which helped a lot. And I had a vocational not hold on, let me think of the right word for this. Vocational counselor kind of, I guess, is the right word. Basically, when I started the starting the daughters of Saint Paul, there was a sister from the daughters of St.
[00:14:16] Paul who really accompanied me on that journey and was trying to help me figure out like, okay, is this really where God wants me or somewhere else? And she told me very upfront at the beginning, like if you are called to be a daughter of St. Paul, I will be so happy. And if you are a called to another community, I will be so happy because all I want is for you to be where God wants you to be.
[00:14:37] And so kind of having the help of people like that, who could really give me good advice and good, good guidance helped me know that it’s not just me in isolation coming up with this crazy idea. It’d be a nine. You know, it really is like God’s will, and it’s where, you know, I’m happy. And so, so to be able to see that kind of button me to believe that there’s there’s enough here, that I can take the risk and really apply.
[00:15:03] Sophia Lebano: [00:15:03] I think a lot of times people, especially, you know, something other than just their vocation, are you really sure that God’s calling me to this? Or am I just creating this reality for myself that I’m seeing all the signs I want to see? And I feel like they’re answers to prayer.
[00:15:16] I think really hearing testimonies from people who have seen God working in their lives truly, and know what he sounds like and what he is pushing you to do is really important for all of us to have that mentorship. So, what advice do you have for people who are discerning, contemplating their vocation, whether it is religious life, married, life, single life, anything like that?
[00:15:38] Sister Allison Gliot: [00:15:38] Well, I would say don’t be afraid of finding your vocation. Cause I think I was for a long time and, and thinking like, Oh, it’s going to be something that I don’t like, or that’s going to make me unhappy. But really like your vocation is: it’s the idea that God has for your life. Like the great plan that he has for you, but it’s also the thing that’s going to bring you the most joy and fulfillment and happiness on this earth, the place where you can best love others and love God is what your vocation is.
[00:16:07] And so it’s a really exciting thing to be looking for. You don’t have to be afraid of it because whatever it is in the end, you’re going to love it. Like that’s, that’s kind of what it is. And so just to not be afraid to explore your options and to really give Jesus a chance. You know, cause any vocation that you have, Jesus is going to be involved.
[00:16:27] You might not be a nun, but in your marriage, you know, Jesus is going to be a part of it or you’re going to have serious problems. Or if you’re called to be a doctor or you know, a teacher or whatever, whatever occupational vocation you might have, you know, God wants to be a part of it. And it’ll be much better if you do it with him.
[00:16:46] And so I would just say, stay close to Jesus and don’t be afraid. It’s all going to be okay.
[00:16:50] Sophia Lebano: [00:16:50] I, I think that’s amazing. And absolutely, I always think of the image that no matter what relationship you’re in, whether it is marriage or if you’re in a relationship with God, like you are, it’s there. He’s always there somewhere in the center.
[00:17:03] And so what, what do you kind of have to say about prioritizing God in your life? What steps can people take to make sure that that’s happening?
[00:17:11] Sister Allison Gliot: [00:17:11] Well, I think it’s a little hard to give general advice because everyone is so different and it’s coming from a different place with their life circumstances.
[00:17:19]But I would say just making a little time for Jesus every day is really important. Like, however it is that you best pray, whether that’s with the Bible or in front of the Eucharist or listening to music or walking through nature, whatever it is, like, how, how you connect with God, make the time for that.
[00:17:37] And don’t be afraid to just sit still and do nothing. Cause I think it’s really hard for us in our society today to take time, to just sit still and be quiet, but that’s really one of the best ways that you’ll be able to hear God speaking is in the silence. He whispers in that. And so I think just giving him the space to work is one of the best ways to prioritize him in your life.
[00:18:02] And it doesn’t have to be several hours every day. You know, like if all you have is 15 minutes to put to prayer, like. That’s fine, but do the 15 minutes, like, and stay faithful to that, and God will reward whatever little sacrifice we’re able to give him whatever time we can give him. He multiplies that, you know, he can work with, he can work with us where we are.
[00:18:21] Sophia Lebano: [00:18:21] What are some ways that you would recommend kind of finding that silence and creating that time?
[00:18:42] Sister Allison Gliot: [00:18:42] Well, there’s this magical setting on your phone called airplane mode. And I know that most people only use it on an airplane, but nuns use it all the time because it’s a really good way to just stop distractions from coming in. And you don’t, you just, you don’t have to look at it. You don’t have to worry about it.
[00:18:58] You can just. Kind of unplugged just for a few minutes so that you’re not tempted to see, Oh, did anyone text me? Did I get a new notification or did email come in? You know, all of those things, but like setting boundaries for yourself and finding a quiet prayer space whether that’s in your room somewhere, if you have, you know, like little statue or a crucifix or something, or if it’s in the back of a church, you know, wherever it is that you want to pray, but like kind of finding a place that can be your prayer space so that it’s kind of set aside in your mind that like, okay, I’m entering Holy ground right now. I’m entering like a space just for Jesus. And it’s okay to tell people like, I’m going to pray now. You know, when I was discerning Before I entered and I was still living at home with my family. I would tell them like, okay, I have to go do my prayer time.
[00:19:45] Now nobody bother me. And they’re like, okay, okay, we’ll be quiet, but it’s okay to like ask people like, can this wait for the 15 minutes until I’m done with it? You know, like it’s okay to kind of set those boundaries with the people that you live with too. And so I think that that’s one really good way to kind of create that space.
[00:20:04] Sophia Lebano: [00:20:04] I’m not very good at that. I’m usually the type of person to be like, pray as I go. So I’m not really like sitting there actively, just dismissing everybody that comes by. So sometimes this is so bad. I really got to change this, but sometimes I’ll just be like watching TV and pray at the same time.
[00:20:21] And then like, my family is talking to me. I’m like, I literally am not listening to you right now. I’m actually listening and praying, but I’m also watching TV. So really not good. Don’t judge me for that.
[00:20:32] Sister Allison Gliot: [00:20:32] Well, one of the things that we actually do, what we do here is praying with the news that we watch on TV.
[00:20:37] And so that’s something, because as daughters of St Paul, we have to be knowing what’s going on in the world today. But even if you’re watching something, that’s not the news, but to be able to pray, pray for the actors that are involved, pray for whatever is going on in the world today, pray for the stories, like the types of messages that are being communicated for the people who are listening to it.
[00:20:57] You can bring that into your prayer too. So prayer can be something where you’re sitting aside silent, you know, no, no distractions, and that’s really good. That’s important, but it can also be something, whatever media you’re engaging in. To really pray for the people you see on Instagram, pray for, you know, the news stories that are breaking pray for whatever types of TV shows or movies that you like to watch you know, to pray for the people who are involved in that.
[00:21:22] And that’s, that’s a very powerful prayer and much needed intercession in our world today. I think.
[00:21:27] Sophia Lebano: [00:21:27] makes me feel a lot better too. But I remember when I was in grade school our school used to be on a pretty busy road. And we would often hear sirens and firetrucks and police sirens go by.
[00:21:42] And every time we did, we would all stop and pray hail Mary. And it was always one of those things that was super powerful because like the one kid would always just stop and like start saying and start praying. Yeah. But it’s something that we often miss when we read things like on our phones or in the media, is that it feels so intangible.
[00:22:01] It’s so far away. It’s not actively happening unless we see it. And so I think kind of incorporating a parent to that would be really powerful for a lot of people. You don’t know who needs the prayers at the moment. You know, if he read about a car accident, start paying for that person and are paying your hail Mary and it’s super simple and super easy.
[00:22:20] So I definitely have to start. Putting that in, especially when Fox news comes up for whatever comes up on my phone, I’m like, okay. I probably should pray right now.
[00:22:29] Sister Allison Gliot: [00:22:29] Yeah, definitely. Like whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing that’s going on, like there can be grace there in that situation, like God wants to get the grace.
[00:22:38] So if we’re asking him for it, that’s very powerful.
[00:22:41] Sophia Lebano: [00:22:41] No, absolutely. So hopefully everybody kind of takes where to this and, and starts incorporating it into their lives. But do you have any last words of advice or prayers or anything you want to offer to the audience?
[00:22:52]Sister Allison Gliot: [00:22:52] Well, just to say that I am definitely praying for all of you who will be like listening to this.
[00:22:58]And that’s something that I’ve made sure I pray for all of my followers or all of the people who interact with me on social media or anywhere else. That’s very important to me. So please do take that seriously. I am praying for you and. Can I ask for your presence as well as I, you know, prepare for, to make my first profession of religious vows, it’s kind of a big deal.
[00:23:16] It’s like my wedding day. So please pray for me. And my cone office is I have two cone offices that will also be making vows around the same time. So all three of us would really appreciate your prayers.
[00:23:29] Sophia Lebano: [00:23:29] No, absolutely. What’s the exact date. So they came, you know,
[00:23:33] Sister Allison Gliot: [00:23:33] we don’t know the exact date, but usually it would be sometime in the summer.
[00:23:39] So I don’t know, even with COVID if things would be a little different this year, but I can let you know when I know.
[00:23:47] Sophia Lebano: [00:23:47] No, absolutely we’re all praying for you, but sister, Alison, thank you so much for joining us today
[00:23:52] Sister Allison Gliot: [00:23:52] Well, I thank you so much for having me its been wonderful..
[00:23:56] Sophia Lebano: [00:23:56] So hopefully everybody is inspired to discover, discern and contemplate their vocation.
[00:24:01] whether you’re called to religious life, single life, married life whatever it may be. Just know God’s there. Right with you each time. So again, thank you so much. We’re praying for you. We’re so excited. I can’t wait to share with everybody again, your new, your new nuns sister name.
[00:24:22] Sister Allison Gliot: [00:24:22] I’ll be excited too. Don’t worry.
[00:24:25] Sophia Lebano: [00:24:25] Oh, well, I should actually ask where can people connect with you
Sister Allison Gliot: I’m on social media on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. My handle is the same for Twitter and Instagram. It’s sister, Alison sister, spelled out and then underscore Alison with two L’s. So you can find me there. I also read a lot of blog articles for our Pauline center for media studies. And that’s it, media dot Paul line.org about lots of different types of things.
[00:25:00] Finding God in popular culture is basically the, just a bit. So yeah,
[00:25:05] Sophia Lebano: [00:25:05] how cool. Yeah, so all of her links will be down there as well, but again, thank you so much for joining us and t
Sister Allison Gliot: thank you for having me.
Sophia Lebano: Of course. We’ll you guys see you guys next time on the next episode of hear and now podcast bye-bye.
It’s the 80th episode of Hear and Now Podcast! Thank you for joining me this week as I have Sister Allison on to discuss her journey of becoming a nun.
Where to find Sister Allison: Instagram
Get in touch with me: firstname.lastname@example.org
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