I have had the unusual opportunity of late of being the ‘proxy parent’ for a young Indian woman who is seeking a ‘life partner’ in her marriage vocation. Her culture strongly encourages that this in large part be ‘an arranged marriage’. This means that the parents basically decide if this is a good match. Kulbir’s parents are in India and not able to review the possible grooms. That is where I have stepped in. This does not settle easily with me. I believe it is a couple’s right to choose the relationship. None the less, not wanting to disrespect her cultural values I have sat with Kulbir as she/we have met a series of Indian men who may/may not become part of this arrangement.
This experience has invited me to step back and review the steps I have made in choosing my vocation. Like Kulbir, I certainly thought extensively about becoming a vowed religious. And like her, I did take time to look around/interview what might be a good fit.
Kulbir recently traveled home to India to see her parents and meet her potential new in-laws. Again time and attention were given to this life vocation. There was even a special ring ceremony where a pledge was made for this possible union. This happened even though the ‘fiance’ was here in Seattle. Each day while she was in India her possible (now in fact) fiancé called her and they talked. They are taking time to get to know each other. They are gleaning the truth about one another. That is what needs to happen not just once but on and on in any vocation.
I entered in 1965. Being a Dominican of Sinsinawa has taught me how to deepen my honesty, my truth-seeking and my freedom. It is something that does take time and intentionality. It has been well worth the effort.
K.C. Young, OP