Posts Tagged ‘vocations’

Life as a Novice – FCJ Formation

September 29, 2014
Novitiate is a fairly intense time of formation. It comes after postulancy and is a formal step into the Society. During novitiate we live in community and are accompanied by a named sister (novice director). We do study of the FCJ Constitutions, learn more about our spirituality, have an opportunity to deepen our prayer life and live reflectively. We also do apostolic work in situations which are different to our normal ministry or job. As an Ignatian congregation we also do the Spiritual Exercises – a 30 day silent retreat. Here are some reflections from Rowena, one of our current novices. Rowena is from the Philippines but is doing her novitiate in Indonesia. rowena
Novitiate is a great invitation and it is the most challenging phase of the journey of my life so far.  For me it is a precious time in which I am so much closer to God.  It’s a school of new beginnings made up of many elements: welcoming; learning; growing; exercising; living; deepening and letting go.
I am learning so many things during this special time: how to grow the love of Jesus in my heart; how to live with Jesus as the centre of my life; how to know myself better; how to stretch myself more in love for others; how to be a woman at the foot of the cross and go beyond it; how to be a contemplative in action, particularly in my daily living.
I have valued and enjoyed my apostolic ministries: visiting and accompanying the sick; teaching children and working with youth.  I have been inspired and helped by all those I have worked with and for.
Lots of questions come into my mind to ponder???  How to give myself fully to Jesus? How to love him faithfully, to follow him tenderly and serve him lovingly?  It is not always easy but bit by bit and through prayer I am aware of how to respond and I go on learning day by day.  Throughout this pilgrimage of my life Jesus is indeed my faithful companion. It is his everlasting love that strengthens my faith, hope and love.
I have been helped by the unconditional love and endless support of our novice director throughout this journey.  She has helped me and directed me as I have been moulded and shaped through God’s love.  I am grateful too to the many companions who have loved and supported me in so many ways.  God’s grace is always there for me.  Thanks be to God for love always in all things.  United in mind, heart and prayer with all those who read this.  God bless each one of you.


July 8, 2013

By 10.55am we were lined up in the entrance procession and enjoying the choir as they sang a few hymns to set the atmosphere.  To our relief nearly all of our guests were in their seats.  Our main room was looking nicely filled with a few empty seats wisely placed for latecomers.  Tyas’ family and friends were seated in the front left rows and FCJs to the right with FCJ Companions in Mission, friends and colleagues taking up most of the other available seating. As the choir sang out the first words of the Entrance Hymn we began to process in and we were drawn into the ceremony moment by beautiful moment.  Tyas looked lovely.  She was so composed and sure of herself.  As Tyas pronounced her vows her voice resounded loud and clear.  There was a glow of joy about her – which is still with her!  The ceremony was followed by a delicious lunch.  The food was just right, it tasted good and there was plenty of it without it being too luxurious.  At 6pm the FCJs gathered together for Tyas’ missioning.  We had a simple meal together as we shared our memories of the day.  It was lovely to be FCJs together at the end of such a special day for all of us – and especially for Tyas.  Thank you for keeping us in your prayer…I assure you of ours…


July 7, 2013

At 5am this morning I walked around our house enjoying the cool air and the silence that pervaded everything.  The main room of our house looked lovely – like a chapel – all set up for the vows.  Gradually other FCJs appeared and continued their part of the final preparations.  At this stage no further instructions are needed – we work as one body with one heart and one mind – helping each other in a true experience of companionship.  Tyas meanwhile – is radiant – she’s ready…This is a happy day for all  – for FCJs, for Tyas’ family and friends, for our Church and World…You all are included in our prayers of intercession…Thank you for your prayers…

God’s gentle presence through the Sacrament of the Sick…

February 7, 2013

Recently we were called to the bedside of a dear friend of our community who is seriously ill in hospital.  We were asked to be present when she received the Sacrament of the Sick.  Within ten minutes of being called we were on our way to the hospital.  I found it deeply moving to be present at such a solemn time as our friend prepared herself for the final stage of her journey of life.  God’s presence in the room was tangible and so comforting.  Despite our sadness there was consolation in the knowledge that God was there tenderly drawing this brave, faith-filled woman home…

Over 300 Young People Attend a Day on Vocations in Yogya!

November 19, 2012

On Sunday 18th November six FCJs from Yogya attended a specially organised youth gathering on the topic of vocation to religious life.  This gathering was a collaborative venture organised by representatives from some of the 74 or so religious orders in our diocese.  Inez FCJ was part of the main committee.  On the actual day three FCJs were group leaders, two FCJs gave input and one FCJ was part of the welcoming committee.  More than three hundred secondary students came to this event which was an opportunity to get to know local religious.  The day began with a welcome and with fun filled “icebreaking”.  There were workshops on various topics of special interest to young people plus time for sharing in small groups.  There was food for all, of course!  The day ended with a laughter filled Mass that kept us full of energy all the way through!  It was a great day, hopefully the first of many.  How encouraging to know that there are still many young people who are thinking seriously about giving themselves to God as religious.  I really enjoyed working alongside other religious and especially with my FCJ companions.


October 28, 2012

Later today, Sunday 28th October, Narni and Yustin will make their final vows as FCJs.  All of the FCJs in Yogyakarta will be there plus FCJs from other parts of the Province and some three hundred or so guests! This is going to be such a happy day for all of us…It is always such a joy when an FCJ makes vows, especially final vows.  May God bless Yustin and Narni will fidelity and joy as they take this momentous step and may they live long and fruitful lives as FCJs in service of God and God’s people.


October 11, 2012

Today the Year of Faith begins – let us rejoice in this extended opportunity to celebrate and grow in our faith.  I really love these words from the Rite of Baptism:  “This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. We are proud to profess it, in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  One of the ways that I’d like to celebrate my faith is to express it in action – to live the Gospel through acts of love and service.  I want to make this year count…Let’s all make this year count and draw each other forward in faith as we do so!


October 4, 2012

In less than a week the church will declare the beginning of the Year of Faith – what a great opportunity for us all to stop and reflect on how we live our lives as women of faith.  I hope I can use this time to think about my faith and even more importantly to recommit myself to witnessing to the Gospel and to helping to build the reign of God.  Any opportunity to spread the love of God is a good one – let’s grasp this one and live it fully!


September 22, 2012

Later today 22nd September 2012, the mortal remains of Marie Madeleine our foundress will be re-interred in the Church of St Dominique, Paris.  This has been a long journey home for Marie Madeleine whose body was taken to England in the early part of the last century when religious were no longer welcome in France.  FCJs throughout the Society are united in heart and spirit as our foundress is once more laid to rest in the land of her birth.  Knowing her deep love for the Eucharist it is so appropriate that her remains will forever be in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.  We give thanks for Marie Madeleine’s life and vision and for the FCJ Society.  May we continue to live our Charism fully – today and always.


August 26, 2012

I am very struck by these words from today’s Gospel: John 6: 60-69.  We each need to discover how Jesus brings the message of eternal life to us in a personal way.  I personally love the scriptures as a rich source of “eternal life”…The Bible really is my favourite book of all time…There are the Sacraments also and, of course, my experience of God in prayer and indeed in daily life.  How blessed we are to receive “the message of eternal life” in so many ways…I wonder how others discover God’s message for them…