Interest in Science Helps Spark SMR Student's Discernment of Religious Life
On May 19, the vigil of the Solemnity of Pentecost, Faith Davis, a graduating senior at St. Mary's Ryken High School in Leonardtown, entered the Catholic Church. As a new Catholic, Davis has already considered a possible religious vocation and later this summer will join the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Michigan, for a period of prayer and intense discernment.
"I have been discerning (a religious vocation) since I decided to convert to Catholicism," Davis said. Her decision to enter the faith and to consider a religious vocation were prompted by what she called a "30 for 30" senior class theology project where she spend 30 minutes with the Blessed Sacrament for 30 days in a row.
Davis said she chose the Religious Sisters of Mercy because "I like the merging of faith and science."
The Religious Sisters of Mercy, with its motherhouse located in Alma, Michigan, is a 45-year-old order dedicated to spiritual and corporal works of mercy. In addition to the traditional vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, the sisters profess a fourth vow of service. Most members of the order work in health care or education.
Davis said she would like to work in health care, particularly research into the treatment of mental disorders.
"I want to help people retain their dignity and I really love the idea of helping people from a faith perspective," she said. She added that her parents, Jeanette and Kirk Davis of Mechanicsville, are supportive of her decision, as is her brother, Darrell.
Davis said her interest in Alzheimer's research was spurred after reading "Flowers for Algernon," a 1966 novel that explores various medical treatment methods of people with mental disorders.
"The big thing in that book was the science," Davis said. "Originally, I wanted to be a lawyer, but I figured I could help more people by doing research" into the treatment of mental disorders.
As in pursuit of her goal, Davis was accepted into the prestigious and highly competitive Meyerhoff Scholars Program at the University of Maryland Baltimore Campus (UMBC). The Meyerhoff scholarship is awarded to undergraduate students who plan to pursue doctoral studies in the sciences or engineering.
Outside of her studies, Davis volunteers as an emergency medical technician (EMT) with the Mechanicsville Volunteer Rescue Squad. She was also active in school sports and participated in service projects.
As she graduates from St. Mary's Ryken, Davis said the school "helped me form what my goals are."
"The science department here is fantastic, and the number one resource here are our teachers," she said. "The teachers here have been mentors to me who have helped me grow and enhanced my passions."
By Richard Szczepanowski, Catholic Standard
Printed on May 29, 2018
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