Dear Religious Family, from Brazil we send you this chronicle to tell you about Constitutions week that we carried out together the Apostolic Novitiate Mary of Jesus the Nazarene and the Contemplative Novitiate St. Therese.
“Life in the Institute begins in the Novitiate”. The Novitiate is a time of knowledge, both of the divine call, which drew the soul to God, and of religious life, in particular life in the Institute, of the place and charism that God has chosen for our sanctification from all eternity. It is also a time for an infinity of novelties with a totally new routine; to be welcomed into a new family, to wear a very different dress than the one we used to wear, to live with people we have never met before, to have different classes and to learn, learn a lot.
To live with love the vocation to which God calls us, it is necessary to know it, it is necessary to know our way; for this reason, the study of the Constitutions constitutes a very important period in the life of any religious, and it would not be different for a Servidora.
After several trips to take the fifteen apostolic novices and the seven contemplative novices to the place where we were to study, the Convent of the Carmelites of the Holy Spirit, we finally found ourselves all together, in a great family spirit.
Mother, as she explained to us, commented that we would study the vow of poverty. Immediately after, as if Jesus wanted to anticipate this so that we would experience it in our lives, the power was interrupted for a brief period of time. This did not prevent our joy and creativity in adapting to the situation.
Father Jesús Eduardo accompanied us during this special week and, having been in the Congregation since its beginnings, he had many stories – and much patience – to share. We welcomed as speakers our spiritual advisor, Fr. Gilberto Galdino, and several mothers and Sisters. Something that especially enriched us was the fact that each novice presented a topic for the others. Some of them spoke of fraternal life, so important for our perseverance, others of the spiritual motherhood that we should have, because we are, above all, spouses of Christ and mothers of souls, among other points of the Constitutions.
On Sunday we had a very enjoyable day with volleyball games with the Carmelite Sisters Messengers of the Holy Spirit. It was a moment characterized by joy, a typical virtue in the souls who give themselves totally to God. Without a doubt, it was an enriching moment for all of us because of the mutual understanding between different charisms of our Church.
We were also able to deepen our understanding of the life of St. John Paul II, learning more about his story and associating how much our Congregation was nourished by his ministry and how we have in him a great model of an apostle with a true princely spirit, committed to the evangelization of culture.
As novices we have a whole world that unfolds before our eyes, something so new but at the same time so ancient that it seems that it has always been part of us. It is time to learn, to undertake, to be docile to the formation, to be protagonists in the process of forming ourselves; it is time to ask and ask a lot, to know ourselves and this new life, to learn that “we must always take a step, the same step that begins again”, as St. Teresa of Jesus said, because for those who love, each step is as if it were the first It is also a time of responsibility, knowing how great is the call we have received, but also that with God’s grace we can move mountains.
Finally, in the midst of so many moments of joy and learning, we were able to say with all the more reason how grateful we are to our Congregation, which guides us and will guide us to live this new life, totally surrendered to God. It is necessary to understand this precious call of God so that we can say our “yes” every day. So, “duc in altum”, let us plunge into this adventure that is religious life in which we have just begun, filled with the “determined determination” not to stop until we reach holiness.
Novicia Maria Doçura Celeste, SSVM São Paulo, Brazil, August 25, 2022
 Constitutions, nº 238, p. 127
 DE 42.