MERIDEN, CT (11-30-2020) – Natalie Yuen of Vancouver, British Columbia, was received into novitiate on November 22, the Solemnity of Christ the King in the Chapel of St. John by Mother Miriam Seiferman, FSE, Mother General. In her formal request for entrance into novitiate, Natalie recalled significant moments in her life that led her to this request. Mother Miriam, in accepting Natalie’s request, welcomed her into this next phase of formation and assured her that the Community will be a strong support as she continues to grow as a religious woman.

As is customary, Mother Miriam blessed the habit, veil and cincture with which Natalie would be clothed by Mother Barbara Johnson, FSE, Vicar General. Upon her return to the chapel, dressed in religious garb, Natalie received her religious name from Mother Miriam – Sister Anne Therese. Mother Miriam explained that St. Anne, the grandmother of Jesus, and St. Therese of Lisieux, a patroness of missionaries, have special significance in Sister’s vocation journey and in her heritage.

Sister Anne Therese, the daughter of Bandy Unaphum, was raised in Calgary, Alberta, and in Richmond, British Columbia. She attended the University of British Columbia in Vancouver where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a Master of Science degree in Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems. She worked in Finance and Human Resources Management for ten years at the UBC Center for Sustainable Food Systems. At the UBC Center, Sister Anne Therese learned first-hand methods of experimental farming and gardening which she enjoyed. She shared with the Franciscan Community that these experiences have served as rich spiritual analogies during her faith journey, as God tending to the garden of all His creation, especially the “garden” of our souls.

During the time of novitiate, Sister Anne Therese will dedicate herself to serving the Community and to learning about the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience as lived in the Community of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist.