Here at Carisma, we don’t only trust in the beauty of diversity, but we also believe in the joy of giving to others. This is why every so often, we will be choosing a person from our local community who we would like to give back to. The first person we will be speaking to is Sister Michaela Paris, a woman who has touched hundreds of lives with her joyous spirit and warmth.
Unlike many others, Sister Michaela did not always know that she was destined to be a nun, and in fact, the first few years of her life were marred with a lot of pain: “I had been sexually abused for a decade and by the time I was 14, I had given up on God and turned to drugs and alcohol. My life was full of darkness. My parents were rightfully worried about me and so they decided to take me to a charismatic group. At first, I only agreed because it was an excuse for me to get away from home but then I found a lot of genuine friends who appreciated me and built many precious friendships.”
Although this was the beginning of Sister Michaela’s journey, 32 years later, she still isn’t exactly sure how she ended up becoming a nun: “I always wanted to get married and have a family because I’ve always adored children but the Lord had other plans for me. I remember going to the Sliema creche to help out once a week and then that once a week became three times a week and then I moved in for 3 months and was still going to my job every day and helping with the children in the afternoons. When I had just started going to the creche, it never crossed my mind that I would take this path but I remember pacing the corridor and asking a nun how old you had to be to be initiated into the order. When I went home that evening, I felt elated. I literally felt like a weight had been lifted off me. I’ve never looked back.”
Although Sister Michaela says that not having her own children was something which she struggled with, she feels like her life has been one of great fulfilment: “In these 32 years, I have had hundreds of children in my charge and I honestly feel like they are part of me. I am happy because I have given all my heart and all my being to each and every child who has crossed my path. This has given me a great amount of satisfaction and joy. This period has not been the easiest of times for our 30 children as they have suffered from being apart from the rest of the community, but we have done our best to keep them as entertained and as active as possible. We feel that it is our duty to protect them while giving them as much of a home as we can. We derive a lot of our joy from their happiness. There is always so much joy in giving.”
As a sign of appreciation for all of Sister Michaela’s sterling work, Carisma will be gifting her with the CARISMA CROSS PENDANT.