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A mother’s prayer

Sister Dina’s family gathered for the profession of her first vows in June. Sister Dina is second from left. Her mother Cynthia third from left.

Cynthia Bato is very happy with the direction both her daughters’ lives have taken. Her younger daughter Dina professed final vows as a Sister of Providence this past June.

Cynthia relates an incident in which she believes God spoke to her.

Dina was in an accident when she was three and a half years old. The doctors told Cynthia not to go home because Dina might not make it through the night. “I prayed. I looked up into high heaven and I said, ‘Lord God, Lord God please give her back to me,’” Cynthia said.

Many years later, Cynthia tells, she had just talked to her now-young-adult daughter, and Dina had been crying. She was struggling as she transitioned into adulthood, particularly surrounding work and relationships. Her mother worked as a chemist and was in her lab room. “And so I was in that room all by myself and I said, ‘Lord, all I want for Dina is for her to be happy and for her to be able to be at peace with herself.’ And out of the blue, I wasn’t even thinking about it, and out of the blue it entered my mind: “I gave her back to you so she can do my work.”

Called

And from that moment on, Cynthia thought her daughter was being called to religious life. As she relates this story she says she never told it to Dina. She didn’t want it to put pressure on her or influence her decisions.

But several years later when Dina told her mother she was considering entering religious life, “At that moment I said ‘Dina, you have my blessing. One hundred percent.’ No qualms about it, no second thoughts, because I knew in my heart she was going,” her mother said.

“I cannot express how blessed, how much happiness I have had from day one when she told me she was going to enter and how much at peace I am with her going into the religious life. It is a blessing that she came back and it is a blessing that God has called her to serve,” Cynthia said.

(Originally published in the Fall 2017 issue of HOPE magazine.)

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Amy Miranda

Amy Miranda is a Providence Associate of the Sisters of Providence and a staff member in their Mission Advancement office. Amy is a 1998 graduate of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. She currently manages the SP publication HOPE and works on marketing support for Providence Associates, new membership and Saint Mother Theodore Guerin.

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