US Olympic speedskater now a Franciscan nun
Twelve years ago at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, a 17-year-old speedskating prodigy named Kirstin Holum was tapped for future greatness.
When Holum placed sixth in the 3,000 meters – one of the most grueling disciplines in the women’s program, a lung-scraping four-minute bust of lactic acid torture – speedskating insiders predicted a golden future and speculated she may not even reach her peak for another decade.
In her own words from The Franciscan website:
” ‘Love is not loved!’ St. Francis of Assisi. Throughout most of my life, I was searching for the one true love. The love to fill a void in my heart that the “world” created in me. Not knowing or realizing or even contemplating the fact that Jesus was the answer, I strayed far from Him in many ways during college. I had blocked out a calling I had in Fatima at the age of sixteen. “You’re going to be a sister:” I heard in prayer before the holy Eucharist. Jesus, through Mary, wanted to prepare my heart, to give him room right then, but over time I stopped listening to him. And start listening to the culture. A culture, which we all know, is full of lies, deceit, and false ideas of love.”
“After college. I moved home, imagining myself in a career as an artist or photographer, still not finding peace. Then the prayers of my patient mother were finally heard. By the grace of God, I ended up on a pro-life walk across America, called “crossroads”. After three months of daily Mass, countless rosaries, a good Confession, and learning more about our rich Catholic faith, we arrived in Toronto for World Youth Day. My heart was ready. Jesus broke through the “noise”of the culture and healed my heart. When I met the CFR’s , I saw in them such immense joy that I knew could only come from their love for Jesus. “I want to love Jesus radically like they do”, I thought to myself. When I first visited the sisters later that year, I did not see visions or hear voices from heaven, telling me that this was it, but I found peace; true peace, which was Jesus’ gentle voice inviting me deeper into His merciful heart, closer to Him, the one true Love.”