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OLOG parishioner enters convent

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by Barbara Lengers/Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church
A member of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church has taken the first step toward becoming a nun.
Molly Rusciolelli, 22, entered the postulancy of the Franciscan Daughters of Mary on Dec. 31.
“The entire parish is overjoyed at Molly’s entrance into the convent,” said Father Jeffrey Kirby, pastor of Our Lady of Grace. “It’s such a blessing for all of us to see a young woman who is willing to take the leap and discern a religious call.
“Molly has led us in sacred song, worked among our homebound parishioners, and started our outreach to unwed mothers and unborn children,” he said.
Rusciolelli served the parish on Waxhaw Highway for two years as organist, choir director and home school co-op teacher, all of which espouse the mission of her new order: “…we witness to the dignity of all human persons by being living examples of the love of Christ for our neighbors.”

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Family springboard to vocation
Rusciolelli credits her seven-year decision to pursue a religious vocation to “a solid family life that is the breeding ground for virtue and patience in waiting, while spending time sitting quietly with the Lord.”
Rusciolelli, the daughter of Bill and Debbie Rusciolelli, grew up just minutes away from Our Lady of Grace in a family of nine children.
“Even as a child, Molly had a deep sense of virtue and a desire to serve our Lord through service to those around her,” said her mother, Debbie Rusciolelli. “It only seemed natural that she would choose to discern religious life as her vocation.”
Her family life provided the seed and support for her interest in religious life. The sisters who attended diocesan events, Mass, and even some who came to her family home for Easter were a witness to the joy of a life in Christ.
Still, Rusciolelli had to be patient and overcome obstacles, while relying on God’s timing to lead her in the right direction.
The Vision Vocation Guide and its  VocationNetwork.org lent her a helping hand in the process. This online tool led Rusciolelli to the Franciscan Daughters of Mary.
A new mission
Rusciolelli will be serving at the Rose Garden Home Mission in Covington, Ky., where her family dropped her off on New Year’s Eve.
Much of the work she has done at Our Lady of Grace mirrors the mission of her community of religious sisters.
“She quietly took care of an elderly neighbor who did not have the family support she needed. Molly saw a need and stepped in,” said Natalie Jackson, OLOG director of social ministry. “The neighbor once shared with me that they didn’t know God could make anything as pure as her in this world.”
The Rose Garden Home Mission, staffed by volunteers and sisters, is a full pregnancy care center that helps mothers-to-be make informed choices about prenatal care, while assisting them with a food pantry, free primary care and dental clinics. The mission also offers free counseling, parenting  and smoking cessation classes,  and provides Thanksgiving turkeys and Christmas toys to families in need.
After Rusciolelli completes her postulancy, she will be able to spend time with her family and friends as Sister Molly.
Relic honor
Kirby chose Rusciolelli for the honor of going to Poland to bring back a relic of St. Faustina  for the Indian Land church. One reason he chose Rusciolelli for the task was her shared call to the religious life and holiness with St. Faustina. Rusciolelli and her mother flew there in early December to receive the relic for the church.
On Dec. 30, the church celebrated Rusciolelli’s decision  with a reception after she offered parting thoughts at Mass.
“It’s been a great experience to have Molly in the parish and watch her grow and witness to the Lord in the community,” Kirby said. “She has done some great work and will be missed by our community.”