Sr. Margaret O’Brien’s life as an Ursuline Sister has been shaped by a desire to be all that God calls her to be. In her ministries both as a Spiritual Director and Facilitator for Religious Congregations she listens to and gives feedback to others, asks questions that invite reflection, and encourages others to listen to what God is inviting them to on their life’s journey.Born in England of Irish parents, Sr. Margaret joined the Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk in 1967. She was inspired to become an Ursuline Sister by her aunt, Sister Agnes O’Brien. “So, when I finished high school in England, I came to the United States to become an Ursuline like her,” Sister Margaret said in a recent interview.In the beginning of her ministry in the United States, Sr. Margaret taught 8th grade at St. William the Abbot School in Seaford, NY, and at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Ozone Park, NY. She later taught at Archbishop Molloy High School in Briarwood, NY. She then began to minister in Formation, accompanying new members joining the Congregation in the U.S. Province. At the same time, she trained as a Spiritual Director. “As a spiritual director, I began to meet people one on one, providing an opportunity to talk about what was happening in their life, and how God might be present in life’s situations.”Sr. Margaret then ministered with young singles and couples in the Diocese of Rockville Centre. “I worked with young people who were eager to be a part of the Church. Throughout the diocese we organized all kinds of events for women and men, single and married, in their twenties and thirties: socials, spiritual events, talks and lectures, as well as volunteer opportunities,” she recalled. “We had a wonderful time sharing this ministry, and I met some gifted women and men with whom I continue to share the journey today.”Sr. Margaret returned to Formation ministry again, and then began to do Facilitation and Spiritual Direction full-time. She accompanied Congregations, Leadership Teams, and individual Sisters on their spiritual journeys. In 2008, she was elected the Congregation Leader at our General Chapter in Belgium, and lived for six years at the Generalate in Brussels. “That provided me extraordinary opportunities to visit our Sisters in India and the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Belgium, in the United States, in Canada, and in Guyana in South America. I was richly blessed yet again,” she said.After returning to the United States, Sr. Margaret resumed ministry in facilitation and spiritual direction which she continues today. “I find now that in walking with women or men religious, I’m using the skills of the spiritual director: listening, feeding back what I’m hearing, and then asking questions to help articulate what might we be learning about ourselves, and what might God be inviting us to.”Sr. Margaret has worked with many religious congregations throughout the world, including congregations in the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa, and India. “Together we discern how we are being called to respond to the emerging future. The way forward isn’t so clear, and yet, we have rich gifts, we have varied experience, we have much to bring to the world in this time of turbulence. Religious women and men are being called to be compassionate, contemplative, discerning and deep listeners,” Sr. Margaret reflected, adding. “We’re discovering how we’re called to be in this world of great turmoil and to find ways to be present in a calm, loving, sincere, gentle way.”