From sharing traditional news to the message of love from God, ABC journalist Nancy Webb is preparing for the ultimate sacrifice as she follows her dream of becoming a nun.
The journalist, 21, who’s been working in Toowoomba for the past year, says she’s ready to embark on a calling from God and will remove herself from what’s considered the normal way of life as she heads to New York to join the Sisters of Life.
Preparing to live out her days in a nun’s habit – Nancy has embraced the “radical” decision that could see her make vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, the ABC reports.
“When I had the attraction to the Sisters of Life, their charism – the spiritual focus – really resonated with me, and I really felt God was calling me to consecrate my life to that.”
Nancy said she’s always had a love for God, but it was a visit to the World Youth Day event in Sydney in 2008 that cemented her dream. There, Nancy was handed a leaflet with a picture of nuns emblazoned with the words ‘to lay down one’s life that others may live’. It was this moment that compelled her to consider a life within the convent.
While the decision to pack up and move overseas, away from family and friends, is not one she took lightly, Nancy says she’s knows this is the path she’s meant to follow.
“I still feel it’s an invitation from God to be totally consecrated to Him for the enhancement of the dignity of human life as a consecrated nun, and at the moment that’s only in the US. One day that might be in Australia,” she explained.
The young journalist’s commitment to the church is in stark contrast with her fellow Millennials, who are turning away from religion in droves. According to 2016 survey by the Pew Research Centre, only about half of all American Millennials believe in God. Meanwhile in Australia, the most recent Census showed that the number of people who identify as Christian fell by 7 per cent between 2011 and 2016, while the number of people who identified as having no religion rose by a whopping 48 per cent over the same period.
The Catholic Church has faced increased scrutiny over the past few years due in large part to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which found some senior members of the clergy both practiced and concealed cases of abuse. The church, which works hard to uphold centuries of tradition, has also struggled to remain relevant with a younger generation that’s proven to value social progress and has rejected the Vatican’s stance on issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion.