Today begins a three-part series of posts concerning the call to Consecrated Virginity, a vocation that many have never heard about (or at least have only heard about in reading the lives of the saints from hundreds of years ago), but is still very much alive in today’s society. Because of the unique nature of this calling, we have asked Ms. Dawn Hausmann, who is the Vocation Coordinator for the Diocese of Lansing  and who has also heard and is in the process of answering this unique call, to provide us all with a little more insight into Consecrated Virginity. This first post is an introduction to Dawn.
My name is Dawn Hausmann. I was born and raised in the Irish Hills of Brooklyn, Michigan. My parents raised us kids in the family of St. Joseph’s Shrine all my life, in the parish family that I still consider my home. My life in grade school was pretty normal as I attended the public school in town called Columbia Central. I played sports, enjoyed friends, and had a great life with my family in the peace of country-living. As I got to my teenage years and entered high school, I began wanting nothing to do with my parents and only hang out with my friends. At that point of my life, I paid little attention to God. I always felt that He was with me and looking out for me but I put Him on the “back burner” of my life. This brought me to be led astray from truly living a life according to Christ.
Upon finishing high school and entering college, God stopped allowing me to remain at peace with a “luke-warm” faith. He wanted the front burner of my life and He invited me into a deeper relationship with Him. The way I had been living was not satisfying me anymore. So I began seeking God. I questioned many things about my Catholic faith because of friends who asked me about saints, Mary, and many other beliefs we hold true. I thank them today for helping me take my faith and God seriously. A new chapter of my life had come.
I began getting involved in St. John’s Student parish at Michigan State University, attending retreats, going to daily Mass, reading Scripture, and finding friends in the Catholic faith. There was a point when a friend of mine asked me, “Dawn, have you discerned your vocation?” I really hadn’t thought about it and just assumed I was getting married one day. However, I had dated guys and had a few serious relationships but deep down I knew that something was just not right with me dating, like my heart was already taken and I was unable to move forward with relationships. My friend continued, “You know that any good Catholic would ask GOD what He wants you to be, what HIS calling is for you.” That moment through my friend’s words planted a seed of discernment in my heart. Then another friend of mine told me that in prayer God told him to tell me that I was to be open to being a religious sister. I was overjoyed and couldn’t believe that God was calling me and had a plan for me! Soon later I felt called to discern my vocation through going on mission in Colorado Springs as a Holy Cross Associate.
While on mission I told God, “Okay, you have one year God to call me to a religious order. I can’t date while on mission, so here is your opportunity.” I realized that when we give God just a bit of room to have the lead in our lives, He so graciously receives that and does beautiful things with it. He was working on my heart that year. I ended up continuing mission life in Bolivia with the Salesian Lay Missioners where I would be in closer contact with religious sisters and end up living with them in their convents.
Upon returning to the U.S. after two years of mission, I attended John Paul II Institute in Washington D.C. where I met a wonderful woman who is a Consecrated Virgin named China who became my mentor and friend. Between her and my spiritual director, I have been discerning a calling to Consecrated life. I shared with them many of the desires of my heart such as my call to mission and wanting to be radically available to God, to go wherever, and do whatever He asks of me. I spoke of the desire of spending time with God alone, and the desire to help others learn to know and love God. Recognizing a call to consecrated life was like I just met myself for the first time, I just realized who I was meant to be and what I was designed for. It brought a great sense of joy and desire to love and serve God’s people with new passion.
This brought me to the point where I am now, in a process of discernment of the vocation to Consecrated Virginity. And God-willing, I will become His bride one day.