On Wednesday 18 October 2023, in the chapel of the vice-provincial house in Galdima-Maroua, Cameroon, the 4 novices of the first year officially entered the novitiate. The novices were: Yvette, Marie, Edith and Nina.
Present at the celebration were the sisters of the novitiate community and those present in the city of Maroua at Djarengol, Makabaye and Galdima. The prayer texts and the sharing of experiences of the vocational journey of each of the novices were both prayerful and challenging, and encouraging for all those who came to support the young girls in this new stage of following Christ.
Yvette: “During the celebration of our entry into the novitiate, I was filled with great joy at taking a step into the congregation. I was very happy to see so many people helping us. As the vice-provincial handed me the cross and the Rule of Life with the words “Receive…”, I prayed inwardly, saying to myself “Lord, come to my aid and help me to put these words and these counsels into practice. Continue to enlighten me as I follow in your footsteps”.
Marie: “During our retreat leading up to this celebration, the review of my vocational life helped me to understand that each person has a unique story. And that brought out more joy in me. On the day of the celebration, when Sister Angèle handed me the cross, I was filled with an inner peace and a feeling of being loved freely by God. For the rest of my formation, I pray that these feelings of peace, joy and love will always be with me”.
Edith: “After this celebration of my official entry into the novitiate, I feel great inner joy. It also made me more aware of my choice of life. The presentation of the lit candle, the cross and the Rule of Life sincerely touched me and challenged me about the sincerity of my life choice. I was very happy to belong to the Daughter of the Holy Spirit family.”
Nina: “Already on my way to Maroua, I was very happy inside because I symbolised this with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, where he realised what he was about to experience. I could see myself going for my official entry into the novitiate: what great joy! But during the celebration, every gesture and word spoken by sisters Angèle and Pauline gave me a deeper understanding of the meaning of my choice of life, my yes to begin novitiate formation and my belonging to the congregation. I always count on God’s grace to live according to his plan for me and to let myself be formed according to his will.”
The joy of the celebration, which began in the chapel, was also to be found around the fraternal table, where we were able to regain our physical strength. We never cease to give thanks to God for the gift of the vocation of all and more particularly that of these young girls who are entering the Congregation. We also ask him for the graces necessary to be truly instruments of the Lord in their formation. “Marie Balavenne and Renée Burel, pray for us and for religious vocations to the Daughters of the Holy Spirit.
Transmitted by Angèle SILIKAM HARANGA, Vice-provincial, 26 October 2023. Published the same day.