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A little help to answer a calling

Ali Fletcher will leave Sept. 23 to join the Capuchin Sisters of Nazareth.

Later this month, Ali Fletcher will leave Rosemount to join the Capuchin Sisters of Nazareth. The trip to Tunkhannock, Penn., will mark the beginning of a new chapter in Fletcher's quest to live the life God wants for her.

Getting to this point has been no small task for the Rosemount resident. It took the 20-year-old a while to realize what God's plan for her was. And then it took a little help from some friends to make it all come together.

To join the community, Fletcher has to be debt free. Fletcher, who attended Ave Maria University for two years, had some student loan debt, which she needed to pay off before she leaves later this month.

To pay off the debt, Fletcher got a summer job as a nanny and held a bake sale at St. Joseph Church. Additionally, her father Brian Fletcher, a member of the Rosemount Knights of Columbus, asked if the council might be able to help her. The group holds regular pancake breakfast fund raisers and decided to donate the funds to Fletcher's debt.

The proceeds from the Aug. 29 breakfast went to help Fletcher pay her debt. The event raised more than $2,500.

"The generosity of the parish blew me away," said Fletcher.

President Jeff Bunke said the council tries to help people going into religious vocations and was glad it could help.

"People were generous with their donations and we were able to raise enough to cover her debt," said Bunke.

With her student loan debts paid, Fletcher will enter the Capuchin Sisters of Nazareth ready to dedicate her life to God. Fletcher said her parents, Brian and Erian, Fletcher will accompany her to Pennsylvania to take part in a small ceremony.

For her first year Fletcher will be an apostolate. During that time she will be dedicated to learning the community's way of life.

During her second year Fletcher will be considered a novice, which she compared to an engagement period. She said she will learn more about the group and become more involved in their way of life.

At the completion of the second year there will be a big party and she will become a full fledged member of the community.

Fletcher, who spent the month of June with the community, said she chose the group because of their core beliefs of poverty, chastity and obedience.

"Their carisms were very fitting to me. They are simple and try to live the life of the Holy Family in Nazareth," said Fletcher.

The decision to become a nun was not an easy one. Fletcher said when she left for college she was excited to meet boys. And while she met some nice guys she felt God might be leading her towards a different life.

After much prayer Fletcher felt that God was calling her to be a bride of Christ.

"God showed me how beautiful this vocation is and then I was pretty excited about it," said Fletcher.

Over spring break Fletcher visited a number of communities on a trip called the "Nun Run." During that trip she visited Capuchin Sisters of Nazareth and felt a connection.

"The best way to be happy is to follow God's will and I feel like that's what I'm doing," said Fletcher.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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