Since January of 2022 when we had the first profession of Asmina, Lidia and Paulina the Novitiate has been quiet waiting for the arrivals of pre-novices from Africa.
Well, we waited until June and a decision was made that the team would go to Africa and/ or at least start the canonical year with the seven young women who have been waiting.
We applied for our work permits to enter Zambia and had to wait for them. Thanks be to God they did not take too long. We cleaned our big house, said bye to the sisters of the Area of Brazil and to our workers. We got rid of all the foodstuffs. We had a farewell Mass and many other things and finally closed the doors of our novitiate in Belo Horizonte on the 3rd of September. Sr. Cristina bid us farewell as she took over the care of the Novitiate building.
We tried to take the essentials, the constitutions, letters of our founders in Portuguese etc with us for the journey to start the Novitiate in Lusaka, Zambia (Zambezi Area).
The journey through Addis Ababa, Ethiopia was very long but just as well we were two and so could discuss some of the plans whilst on the road. I could not help but remember our founder´s words when were on the 3rd and last plane…“No doubt there is a long road ahead, but, you know it well, The foundations of a building are the most difficult because they are the most important.” (GS/27/IX/49/A. Vol. I, p.16)
We were well received in Lusaka with songs and dance. The following day the whole group of seven young women were there ready to start their novitiate. We wasted no time as we started cleaning and putting the things in order so that the environment will be conducive to the novitiate. The young women are very happy and seem ready, so that is a plus!
I´ve been to the immigration offices and succeeded in having my work permit approved. Sr. Kathleen’s is in the process too. That is something to celebrate! Now we wait for Sr. Maria Emilia* and Fidelia to arrive so that we will be a full novitiate community, 11 of us!
We are going to have three days of retreat before reception into novitiate on the 22nd of September.
We are here less than a week but it seems we were here long time ago. We do not know what is waiting for us ahead but whatever it is, our spirits are positive and we say with Isaiah, ‘Here we are Lord we come to do your will’
The whole transition period of the Novitiate has been very hectic. Besides packing and planning our next move, life was going on as usual with meetings and all. The goodbyes after 9 years of our presence in Belo Horizonte were not easy. The Novitiate had been doing well, always helpful in the parish and the Brazilian Area. Professions had been happening nearly every year so what happened? so many people asked. They did not want us to leave.
This year 2022 we did not receive anyone because there were problems with visas. The two Areas that were supposed to send the girls to the novitiate kept knocking at the Brazilian Embassy’s doors but with no luck. After 8 months of waiting a decision was made that we move temporarily to Lusaka, Zambia. Will we ever go back to our Belo Horizonte Novitiate or will we stay here? Nobody knows. So whether we are here or there we aim to do our best. We are pencils in the hands of an artist!
“Place yourself entirely in the hands of God, as a tool in the hands of a worker. On its own, the tool can do nothing, but in the hands of a skilful worker, it can be used to produce masterpieces.” (GS/1/IX/79/A. Vol. II, p. 87.) Fr Gailhac would remind us again.
Again I remember our founder who once said to his beloved daughters back then and I am sure he is saying that again to us today, “Let us always do all that we have to do with the sole intention of giving glory to God. Success comes from God, and God will never let us down.” (GS/5/VII/72/A. Vol. I, p. 91.)
Yes, God will never abandon us, that much I know and it gives me comfort.
Let us pray for this new beginning that it will take off well. Pray especially for our young women that they may be faithful and joyful in their faith journey as they search for God´s will in our Institute!
Blessings to all!
Sr. Rosemary, Novitiate Directress
*Sister Maria Emilia arrived!