vocation stories | KATE
My name is Kate Cropp
I was born… in Mansfield, Ohio on March 20th1995.
I graduated… in May 2017 from the University of Kansas with a degree in Chemical Engineering.
I love people! I am extremely extroverted and enjoy talking with anyone. I try to find the bright side in every situation, so you will almost always find me with a smile. There is an ongoing joke that I love sparkly things – I think this comes from my love for the water! I love its various shades of blue, its sound, even its molecular structure. I am an avid swimmer and love any chance I get to be in the water.
What does God want for your life? This was a question I never asked myself until I came to college. I grew up catholic, faithfully going every Sunday, and I was very proud of being Catholic. But I was never really in a relationship with Jesus, nor did I consult Him on what my life should look like. This changed when I came to KU and I was invited to a bible study set up by a couple of senior girls on the KU’s women’s rowing team. Being the extroverted and social person that I am I said yes with the main desire to be cool and hang out with upperclassmen. But it was there I encountered Someone who even better and where I first came to know who Jesus was. This jumpstarted the journey of my spiritual life. During my sophomore year the FOCUS missionary I worked with encouraged me to begin spiritual direction with Sr. Raffaella. I was trying to decide if I should remain on the rowing team or not and she helped me to bring God into this big question. The Lord used this discernment with rowing to open my heart to begin asking the simple yet sometimes difficult question of what does God want for me in my life?” Not only in the big decisions but also in the daily choices. I decided to quit rowing, and I was thrilled to finally have more time in my schedule for daily mass, adoration and to become more involved at the St. Lawrence Center. I was falling in love with Church and even more significantly with Jesus. Heading into my senior year, my desire (and plan) after graduation was to be a FOCUS missionary. But the Lord had different plans. During a retreat the sisters preached that September, I heard the Lord inviting me to talk to Sr. Debbie, my spiritual director at the time, about discerning my vocation. After wrestling with God about this question, I finally submitted to just talking with Him about my thoughts of marriage and consecrated life. At various moments over the past couple years the question of my vocation surfaced, but I never felt the Lord prompting me to begin an intentional discernment. I was never opposed, I was just waiting on Him and quite honestly never thought He would call me to be a sister. I knew needed to talk to Sr. Debbie. I was so nervous to bring it up. I thought that she would laugh at me, wondering why I of all people would be asking about consecrated life, someone who talks too much, loves fashion, is extroverted, and has a history of brightly colored hair. But thankfully she did not laugh at me, but instead helped me to see that consecrated life is so much more than what we see exteriorly but about how the Lord is inviting us to love. To help my discernment, the sisters let me have a silent retreat at their house. I felt the Lord saying to my heart “finally I have 24 hours with you all to Myself” and I felt the exact same way. It was during this retreat where I saw how throughout my whole life the Lord has been calling me to Himself. That to arrive at that point was not my own doing, but that He was the one reaching out, always drawing me closer to Himself. I tasted something sweet that I knew I would not be able to forget, even if I tried. It was an overwhelming moment of knowing that there was nothing greater in this life (or the next) than being with Him. For me, this moment was the closest moment I can identify as “being called”, but still more I see many small moments with Him that have created a path that leads to being consecrated to Him. I was naturally drawn to the AVI and their apostolate, becoming the Spouse of Christ only made sense in light of doing it as an Apostle of the Interior Life.
I met the Apostles for the first time… when I was a freshman at KU. My best friend Erin introduced me to Sr. Raffaella
in the gathering space outside of the St. Lawrence Center Chapel during my
freshman year at KU.
My first impression was… she was warm, welcoming, and joyful and had an extremely calming presence. I
was very intrigued and struck by her presence.
I began the experience with the community.. in the Fall of 2017 I spent a semester volunteering with the community in the
Lawrence House until I was accepted into the community in December 2017. I began my formation journey in January 2018 and I am continuing my first phase of formation in Lawrence until God-willing I move to Rome in June 2019!
I desire… to follow God’s will and to spread the light and joy of Jesus Christ to all the
people I encounter…
“For your love is better than life” – Psalm 63:3
“The Lord will use you to do great things on the condition that you believe much more in His love than in your weakness”