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Mom hears call in Adoration revealing her vocation

Adoration to the Blessed Sacrament

Sidney de Almeida | Shutterstock

Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 09/18/23

A young wife and mother was shocked to hear God calling her to an unexpected vocation that was just what she was meant to do.

Many Catholics powerfully sense God’s presence when we spend time in Adoration of the Eucharist—as we should, since the Eucharist is the Real Presence of Jesus Christ. 

Whether we find ourselves discerning a major life decision, solving everyday pain points, or carrying some kind of heavy cross, we can find answers and loving hope when we seek out God’s presence at Adoration.

Doubtless there are so many stories of transformative moments in Adoration that no one could write them all down. If you’ve had such an experience yourself, please reach out as I would love to tell the world about it.

Today I want to share the story of a young wife and mother who felt God calling her to an unexpected and unfamiliar vocation—and it ended up coming full circle years later.

Something missing

Today, Erin Thielman is a high school science teacher in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia. But back in 2016, the idea of a teaching vocation was not on her radar

In 2016, she was in a stage of serious discernment after serving in the U.S. Air Force. Married with two children, she took a job as an instructional assistant at her child’s Catholic school while figuring out her next steps. 

“Though I knew I had a good background, something was missing and I was unsettled,” she said in an interview with Aleteia. “Where was God calling me next?”

God’s call in Adoration 

One day, Erin fell to her knees in the school Adoration chapel, feeling “like a magnet was pulling me in” and was shocked to feel an intense call in her heart. 

“I was struck by a loud call from God asking if I humbly submitted to his will,” she said. She felt God wanted her to be a teacher, but she didn’t know how it would be possible. 

“I told him that I would do this, but I had no idea how!” she said. “I kept this in my heart.”

A few days later, she got a phone call from the principal asking if she would be a classroom teacher for 7th and 8th grade religion class. 

“I was shocked and humbled,” she recalled. “Perhaps this is what God was calling me to when asking to submit to his will?” 

She had a “glorious year” teaching and to this day stays in touch with many of the students, who are now in college. 

A surprising twist

But that year of teaching came to a surprising end when she found herself pregnant with her third child. 

“Doctors said that I couldn’t get pregnant again after overcoming a life threatening disease, but God always knows better,” she said. 

Her third child was born with Down syndrome. It turned out that raising a child with Down syndrome equipped her for teaching in a whole new way.

“In my high school classroom are a handful of kids with special needs,” she said. “I am able to teach them and connect with them because of my little son. It’s all come full circle.

Today Erin is an advocate in the Down syndrome community, a motivational speaker for teens and young adults, and a published author.

The call continues

God’s call was not a one-time event. She feels it again and again as she makes it her life’s work to serve and teach. 

I am reminded of this transformative experience in Adoration as I sit on the couch with my three kiddos grading papers and setting lesson plans. What I learned from that transformative experience in the school chapel has played out on repeat over the past 6 years. I am confident that I will continue to hear that call on repeat throughout time. I fell to my knees, but my heart was elevated to the tabernacle. He asked me to take care of his children—all of them that come across my path—and I am endeavoring to do just that.

She has this message to share with the world about Eucharistic Adoration: “We don’t have to do all the talking. Sometimes we need to find the silence in order to hear God’s mighty voice.”

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