TWIN MISSIONARY NUNS
Beata Kołtun and Wioletta Kołtun are twin sisters and nuns from the religious order of Christ the King’s Missionaries for Polish Diaspora abroad. Can the desire for religious life in the twin sisters appear at the same time? Who calls the sisters? Is it God or maybe suggestion and influence of one sister on another?
God has beautiful gardens, in which there are various kinds of flowers, and these flowers are people’s vocations. Vocation for marriage is this unique flower, and the other ones are vocation for life in loneliness, in priesthood. God is continually taking care of us, chose us already in the beginning – sister Beata said convincingly.
In the beginning there was sport
The nuns come from a small town Pyrzyce near Szczecin. When they were 5 years old, their mother died. This difficult experience brought them much closer to each other. – We were left with our grandma and dad. After two years, our dad got remarried to a woman who was an excellent mum for us, and we owed her a lot. I think that our mum in heaven has also prayed a lot for us – they say. From the third year of the primary school they practiced volleyball, in the secondary school they continued the sport. It was sport with which they related their future….
As students of the secondary school, they also belonged to a religious youth’s group. At that time missionaries of Christ the King for Polish Diaspora abroad arrived in her home parish. The girls were particularly in friendship with sister Lucyna and every Saturday they helped the sister in the parish church, and created a music group.
Recognizing one’s vocation
Beside sister Lucyna, such a sign of recognizing our vocation was our friend Agata who came from a very religious family. Under her influence, we undertook a commitment of the Lent that we would attend the Holy Mass three times a week, When the Lent ended, Agata finished her commitment but we missed something. Then we started attending the Eucharist every day, it was the need of our heart. We were eager to get engaged in liturgy, we read readings, sang psalms – they say.
Another person who made the twin sisters think on their vocation for religious life, was an elderly woman whom they met in the church every day. One day she came up to them and said that it was excellent that they were so engaged in the life of the Church and that she prayed for them so that they would become nuns. At that time the sisters ignored what they heard.
- It had been half a year since that talk. One day I mentioned to Wioletta that I often thought about the words of that woman and about a religious order, and my sister said that her thoughts were similar. Then we said to each other loudly for the first time that God probably calls us to live in a convent. We were only in the second year of the secondary school and we still had a lot of time to make the final decision, for the next years we did not talk about this issue – says s. Beata.
The twin sisters discerned their vocation individually, having help from retreats in which they participated, they also considered studies at Physical Education University.
Unanimity in decisions
One day, at the end of the secondary education, one of school mates asked us what studies we were going to choose. We said unanimously, not deciding about it together earlier that….we were going to enter a convent. We were surprised with the unanimous and the same answer but we were also very glad – said the sisters. – And we applied for a convent in Morask. Our parents were surprised by this decision but accepted our choice. Mum even admitted that she had prayed for the whole life, so that one of her brothers would become a priest but it did not happen so, instead her daughters chose vocations for consecrated life – the twin sisters say. From the beginning the sisters believed that the way they had chosen, was right, although it is known that there were a lot of questions and doubts. They unanimously say that today they would choose the same – the convent path and the same convent.
Dilemmas and secrets
After years a memory of one of the sisters sounds funny, when in her youth she was frightened by the thought about wearing a nun’s robe. For example, when she looked at priests, she thought: they have a good life, they can go with young people to a lake in civilian clothes, play football, whereas nuns…..these nun’s robes all the time. Then the convent clothes were only an obstacle and suddenly what was allegedly a problem, disappeared and accepting a nun’s robe and a veil became joy and great desire. All this can be summarized in the word ‘secret’, in which a path of every vocation is hidden and we may discover it completely not earlier than in heaven.
Together means more
The sisters Beata and Wioletta, as the charism of the convents suggests, work with Poles abroad. They could serve in various institutions, in various countries, but they have this grace that they can work together in the same place, they do not conceal that they have always wanted it and are grateful to God for giving them this possibility.
After their vows they started their ministry from institutions in Poznań, Szczecin and the home cloister in Morask. Later they went to Chicago where they worked for 10 years in one institution. There they established a Catholic school for children which was attended by over 800 children. The biggest interest of the nuns was and is still singing, therefore, in Chicago they established musical bands for groups of: preschool children, school children and the youth. During those years they participated in international festivals. They visited with children various Polonia institutions in America and Europe. After a decade of their work in Chicago, they returned to Poland for four years, and for over 2 years they have been working in the USA again, this time in Michigan in Sterling Heights at the parish of Our Lady of Częstochowa.
The nuns say jokingly that they have such good superiors that they always work in the same places and say: It is difficult for us to say goodbye and we complement each other and our work seems more efficient.
- It is said that twins are so similar to each other that their work is doubled, and this is so with us, although we know that there would not be all this, if it was not for God’s blessing – they say. The nuns take strength and ideas from the chapel and adoration. – This is the most important place in our house, it is the place in which we get strength to serve to people and first of all, give them God – they emphasize. And they have been working so with double strength for over 29 years.