Inter Provinces Novices' Programme
Place : : Cuttack
Date : July 11 – July 16 2016
Topic : Personal Charism
Guide : Sister Lizy SJA
The Inter Novitiate programme of the Visakhapatnam and Bhubaneswar provinces is held every year with each province hosting it alternately. It is a time of great joy and excitement for the Novices who look forward to it eagerly. This year it was the responsibility of the Novices in Cuttack to prepare for the programme and they worked hard to welcome their friends whole heartedly and to ensure that their time together would be happy.
The great day dawned on 10th of July. The immense enthusiasm of the Novices from Visakhapatnam Province was noticed as they arrived at Cuttack Novitiate, where they would meet their companions. It was wonderful to see the welcoming ceremony with open arms, smiles of love and warm words as they have arrived. This was a special time of grace for everyone; a fabulous opportunity for all of us to experience the love and the spirit of our Founder, Fr. Medaille.
We began our programme on 11th with the precious words of Fr. Medaille as the theme of our prayer i.e. “Let LOVE love through you”. We called to mind the presence of the Triune God as Sr. Leena, who represented Sr. Linette and the Council of our Bhubaneswar Province, Sr. Lizy the resource person for the classes and Sr.Deepa the Novice Mistress and the two Novices lit the lamp. It was a blissful morning with angelic voices singing aloud the praises of God as Sr.Vijaya Mary led us into prayer. The prayer was the best introduction to reflecting on the topic – “Personal Charism”. We recalled the aim of our vocation, especially to consecrate ourselves to the Holy Trinity’s love for the world. We asked the powerful intercession of Fr. Medaille and Mother St. John Fontbonne. Sr. Leena said a few words of welcome to the Novices - inspiring them to make use of the golden opportunity that was being given to them.
As the saying goes, “all that is well begun is half complete,” and the classes certainly began with enthusiasm! Sr. Lizy, in spite of her busy schedule, had put aside all other engagements in order to be of service to the Congregation and to take time to teach the Novices. The classes were on “personal charism” which is an important aspect of our religious vocation. Sister, with all her love for the Congregation was able to instil in us its spirit and to help us recognise our own personal charism. She was so patient and available in making us understand its real meaning. The classes were not mere lectures but more personal reflections and sharing until each one of us discovered our own charism.
To double our joy and refresh us with the spirit of our senior Sisters, we had a day out on 13th to Jokalandi and Bhubaneswar communities, as well as to Kandagiri and the Tribal Museum. It was a time of fun as well as a sharing of our recent experiences which had become valuable moments for each of us. On 15th, in gratitude for the days spent together and to celebrate Sr. Leena’s feast in advance, we put on a cultural programme -along with the Sisters preparing for Final Profession and the Candidates. It was a fun filled evening with lots of celebrations and exchange of greetings. It was a time of expressing our gratitude to God and the Sisters of the Community for all their hard work in making these days a success. Every one participated in order to show their love for each other.
Sr.Lizy concluded the classes with a memorable prayer service which helped us to be grateful for the gift of the personal charism which we have received in our lives. We entered with lighted candles as symbols and offered them to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, surrendering ourselves to do what God wants of us. We were very happy to have spent joy filled days together. At the end there was an evaluation of the gathering where all were able to express what we had learned from one another. All felt sad when the time came for departure from Cuttack on 17th July.