The Inter Provinces Novices’ Programme - Araku
Every gathering has a purpose and to gather as one family in Christ’s name is all the more a delightful event. The Inter Novitiate programme of Visakhapatnam and Bhubaneswar Provinces is one such wonderful occasion. It is a time of great joy and pleasure for the novices who look forward to it with lots of excitement.
We take this opportunity to express our heartfelt thanks to the Congregation for arranging this time together so that we can deepen our relationships with one another. The novices at Araku began to prepare for the programme with lots of enthusiasm and they were delighted to welcome their friends.
This year that great day dawned on 9th July. There was an immense sense of anticipation when the Bhubaneswar novices arrived at 5.00 pm and they were welcomed solemnly with Arathi and Dimsa which is the traditional dance of Araku Tribals. Since it was a Sunday an evening Mass had been arranged. It was remarkable to see the joy on every face and to feel the spirit of our founder, Fr. Medaille, as we celebrated as a family of St. Joseph.
We began our programme the next day with a meaningful prayer service based on the purpose of our call and our goal. We called upon the presence of the Triune God as we prayed. Sr. Dominic, who represented Sr. Vianney and the council of our Visakhapatnam Province and the resource persons for the classes, Sr. Nirmala, Sr. Deepa and Sr. Ann, were also present. It was a beautiful morning as we sang aloud the praises of God while Sr. Deepa led us into prayer. It was also the best possible introduction to our reflection on the “Eucharistic Letter”. We recalled the aim of our vocation and then Sr. Dominic said a few words of welcome to the novices - inspiring them to make the best use of the golden opportunity that had been given to them.
Sr. Dominic had put aside all her engagements to take time to teach our novices and instil in them the spirit of our Congregation. Fr.Medaille has inspired each one of us through this Eucharistic Latter and so we learned:
- To be filled with God’s love as a consequence of being emptied of the false self.
- Our vocation is mystical. It is not about you, it is about God and God working in you.
- It is a mystery to be empty of everything else for God’s glory.
- Be nothing for self, all for God and the neighbour.
These were just a few highlights which increased our faith and helped us to deepen our relationship with the God in the Blessed Sacrament. The classes were not mere lectures but were personal reflections and sharing all through the day, from waking to going to bed, as each of our activities and prayers were connected and guided.
To double our joy and refresh us with the beauty of creation, an outing to the surrounding tourist sights of Araku, was arranged for 15th. It was a time of fun as well as being an enriching experience of being together and relishing the wonderful sights of nature. After enjoying the day, and in gratitude for the days spent together, we put on a cultural programme for the community sisters. It was an exciting evening with lots of fun and happiness. 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 meaningful. Every one participated in showing their love to one another.
Sr.Deepa and the Novices concluded the days of our classes with a meaningful prayer service. At the end we had an evaluation of the gathering where we expressed what we had learned from one another as well as giving “feedback”. Sunday morning was a bit sad as we had to say “Good bye” but, at the same time, there was a great feeling of unity. As it had been such a great experience we continue to cherish those moments.