It was a heartfelt moment to witness the reception of a young lady into the Novitiate. who feels very favoured by God for all that he has bestowed on her in her life.
Recently Vanessa Makwaba who is now Sr. Fortunata was received into the novitiate in Eshowe Convent. Vanessa is a young lady from Johannesburg who entered our congregation at the beginning of last year. She completed her candidacy and postulancy and officially asked to be accepted into the novitiate. This is the third stage of formation in becoming a sister of our congregation. The novitiate is a period of two years where the novice is given time for intense discernment of her vocation which means praying and learning about the life of a holy childhood sister. and she later given an opportunity to experience community life in a convent with final professed sisters.
The reception took place in the Chapel in Eshowe. Present were the sisters from Mbongolwane, Ntabankulu, Eshowe and our Mother General from Germany, Sr. Katharina who came for a Visitation. The ritual was done during Vespers. Sr. Assumpta, the Regional Superior accepted Vanessa and handed her over to the care of Sr. Teressa who is the directress of Novices. She received a short white veil and a San Damiano cross. This was a step into a new era: For the first time in our region, a novice keeps wearing a skirt and blouse instead of a simple habit like the sisters before her.
Sr. Assumpta then announced the name of the new novice, Sr. Mary Fortunata, which means Fortunate. All the sisters had supper together after the reception and afterwards the novice shared with the sisters why she chose the name Fortunata. “I feel very fortunate for all the blessings God has given me, for my mother who raised me and for the wonderful family He gave me. I also feel fortunate for being in this Congregation of the Servants of the Holy Childhood of Jesus”, she said. The celebration was very joyful and solemn. All the sisters are grateful to God for the vocation of Sr. Fortunata and we pray for her as she takes this journey of discernment. We would like to ask our friends and benefactors to continue to pray for vocations into Religious life, Priesthood and Marriage.
Text: Sr. Maria Machi
Photos: Sr. Katharina Ganz