vocation stories | LAURITA

My ame is Laurita Keeler

I grew up in a very tight-knit family with my three younger siblings and my huge extended family. My childhood consisted of ice cream truck treats, summer swimming, camping, trips to Mexico to see family, adventures in the woods, rollerblades and skateboards and piano lessons.

I graduated from the University of Texas A&M in December 2016 with a BS in Kinesiology. 

Vocation story 

As a student I was involved at the Catholic student center, and there I really found my home in the church. I met the Lord, began making prayer as a part of my daily life, fell in love with the liturgy, met some of my best friends, and found a calling in the music ministry there. 

As a freshman, one of the music students who was a senior, very intentionally spoke to me about music as prayer and encounter. We talked every now and then but I remember being struck by her attentiveness towards me and by her reverence for Jesus. Later that year, I learned that that student was wanting to enter with the Apostles of the Interior Life, the sisters that I had only met and spoke with a few times. I remember being so shocked and surprised that Jesus had asked her to be his spouse. It was a concept so far out there and new for me that I was more curious than anything. This didn’t prompt any vocational discernment for me at the time, but the Lord has planted a seed planted in soil that he had already been tilling. 

As college went on, I wasn’t intentionally discerning a vocation but I was hungry for things of the Lord. I began spiritual direction with the sisters and grew in relationship with them and their charism.  I got to know the Apostles a little more as they invited me to do Samuel Group and play music at some of their events.

In February 2015, my junior year, I received what I would call now, kind of like, part 1 of my call from Jesus to be completely dedicated to him and the Gospel. It was during the Mass at the moment of consecration, and it felt missionary by nature, but not really “big-V” vocational. It was as if the Lord filled my heart with fire. Then, in January 2016, about a year after the first call from the Lord, he revealed himself again, through the Eucharist at Mass during the time of consecration. Here, however, he revealed himself as Bridegroom, and Bridegroom for me. I still remember the time and date of this call because it was the strongest encounter with the Lord that I had ever had up to that point. This particular love for me that I experienced changed everything. I knew within my heart that he had set me totally apart for himself and that he was good. It was also as if he was showing me a fulfillment of the first call I received, that maybe this was the way he was calling me to live out what I first felt a year or so ago.  So this began (for me) a very slow but more “focused” part of my journey of vocational discernment. 

It took me some years after that experience to find myself entering with the Apostles. During those years the Lord revealed more of himself and my heart to me and he prepared me to be able to say a fuller “yes” to making a step in faith. I’m so grateful for all the people that walked so lovingly and patiently with me. So, in July 2020 I left my job and did a volunteer year with the Apostles in Kansas, and in May 2021 I officially entered the community.