For any school-aged child, moving from one home to another, and having to change schools and friends can be very difficult. Raised in a military family, Pam attended four different elementary schools and three high schools. For a time, she drifted from the Lord and her Catholic faith. The Good Shepherd sought her and brought her back.
Pam Birdsall was born in Battlecreek, Michigan, the eldest of three daughters. She attended Catholic schools and was taught by sisters from different religious communities.
Pam first thought of a religious vocation through the example of the sister who taught her in the third grade. Later, her eighth grade teacher, Sr. Stella Marie, helped keep her faith on course as she neared adolescence.
Entering high school, Pam strayed from God in her mind. She was trying to find her own place in life, instead of doing what others told her to do. At the time, she was attending high school in Germany, and would attend a second high school there before graduating from Roosevelt High in San Antonio, Texas. She attended mass during these years as an obligation.
After high school, Pam worked in sales and did other office work. She continued the pattern she learned as a child of moving to a different location every few years. An uneasy restlessness filled her soul, and she left the church and the practice of her faith. At the time, she was working as a teacher’s aide in an elementary school. Her life began to deteriorate, just like the Scriptural house built on sand.
After ten years of being away, the mother of the teacher that she aided evangelized Pam back into the church. She invited Pam to attend prayer meetings, and Pam soon received the grace of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Pam felt the embrace of the Lord, and she went to Confession as soon as she could.
This same friend encouraged Pam to think about a religious vocation, and initially Pam resisted the idea. Over time, the Lord began to speak to Pam of the call that was with her since grade school. She spent much time in prayer at the Poor Clare Monastery in Roswell, New Mexico.
Pam was earnestly seeking the Lord for inspiration for a community to enter, and she did the hard work of reading about communities and writing to them. It was at the prayer meeting that her inspiration would get clearer, as the leader of the prayer group did not give his usual teaching, but instead read an article on praise from Praise Him! Pam contacted the Disciples the next day, and she entered the community in 1984, at age 33. She received the name Sr. Anthony as a novice, and professed her first vows in 1986 and her perpetual vows in 1990. She encourages all that are discerning a vocation, ”If you are struggling with life and wandering, the Lord is always going to take you back, and then, hang on!”