My name is Stephanie Koch; I am 25 years old, and a second year applicant with the Servants of the Cross. I was born and raised in Saskatchewan and am the eldest of three children. The Catholic faith was always an important part of our family life and my mom would often read the stories of the lives of the saints to us. I believe that hearing those stories enkindled in me a burning desire to live my life for God, so it is not surprising that I first felt called to religious life when I was only 14 years old. I strongly desired to give my whole self to Jesus and I believed I could do that best as a religious sister.
The first time I heard about the Companions of the Cross was when the founder of the community, Father Bob Bedard, came to teach at a Catholic Bible School I was attending in Alberta in 2004. While Fr. Bob shared his life story, I fell in love with the charism and mission of the community. Soon after Fr. Bob's visit, I contacted Sister Anna Chan and Sister Monique Bisson, who were starting a sisterhood called the Servants of the Cross, affiliated with and akin in spirituality to the Companions of the Cross. The sisters asked me to come on a discernment retreat to see if the Lord was calling me to their new community. On retreat my heart seemed to come alive and I experienced such joy and peace and a feeling of being at home. It was clear to me by the end of my discernment retreat that the Lord was definitely calling me to join the Servants of the Cross.
I entered the Servants community in September 2007 and the last year and a half have been filled with many joys and blessings. I have seen so much growth in my relationship with others and with my beloved Jesus. In this community I find that I can truly and fully give myself to Jesus by living the vocation I believe He has called me to live. As I look back over my life, I am filled with gratitude for all the Lord has done in my life and for the faith of my parents which I believe planted the seed of my vocation within my heart.