Experience in Costa Rica by Lucia
I want to start my sharing saying thanks for all your support and prayers to get everything right in this experience, and by the loving emails I received. I want to share the happiness of living in this time I spent here in this beautiful region, Central America, and tell you with great joy some of the experience in Costa Rica, in the formation house, which is so lively and very welcoming.
In Costa Rica I lived in the Community of Formation in Turrialba, with Sr. Flor, Sr. Dei, Andrea and Nancy. Living in this community was more than wonderful; I could live with other postulants who are at the same stage as me and I could participate in some formation activities with them, which were very good experiences. I participated with them in the Congregation history classes given by Sr. Paulina. We prayed with history. By doing many translations of the French this Sister knows many precious details, and told me about our foundation (Brazil) that was very beautiful; she helped me to understand better the hand of God in history. I also learned in detail about the foundation in Central America; Fr Theodore ardently desired to know and be on American soil.
I had the grace to follow the postulants in their apostolate in the Sion school in Turrialba. It is a project called “semillitas de Sion” (Sion seeds) in order to pass the charism and the history of the Congregation to the students. I was delighted by the pedagogy and project content. They teach with many details about the life of the founders, about the beginnings of the Congregation, the arrival of the sisters in the different countries. They have developed with the students a dynamic way of speaking with great conviction about the spirituality of the Congregation and about the apostolates of the sisters in different countries. They have such a charming way to teach that all students are fascinated by our history.
I also had the grace to follow Sr. Flor in her apostolate of biblical formation in two communities and in the parish. The community is called “Noche Buena” and has 10 people and the other “La Suiza” has 13 people, all are very beautiful, simple and very loving. Sr. Flor works with them from the introduction of the First Testament to Revelation. It’s beautiful to see the missionary force of this Sister and also of the whole community. For those who are just starting this journey, like me, this is a witness and an example to follow; it is an example of faithfulness and a way to do things with love.
We had some tours so that I could learn a bit of culture and about the region. We went to a reservation for indigenous people called “Goiabo,” there are no longer any indigenous people, but it is a space that was for many years inhabited by them. We also went to LimÃ³n, which is a beach area. We visited the volcano of Cartago and the basilica of the virgin “De los Angeles”. I took advantage of the visit in the basilica to pray for the sisters both of the Central America as well as in all regions, asking God to show us the way forward and help us to know his will.
I had the honour of attending the assembly of the Sisters in Central America from November 26 to 30, with the theme “How to live hope in changes” and was developed by an excellent Salvadoran facilitator. She started reminding us that change begins within us, that we must live and always believe in hope even in face of difficulties. We had moments of evaluation and reflections in order to achieve the priorities and make some decisions. On November 30 the meeting was for all associates and friends of Sion with the theme “The role of laity in the Church and his/her response in fidelityâ€. The facilitator began by explaining that a lay person must be (corresponds to the human, community and spiritual dimensions); know (able to understand the reality and be willing to serve); and know how to do – able to dialogue (radiate with simplicity and joy his or her faith).
All the experiences were beautiful, I identified with the many of the realities of this region, which looks a bit like the Northeast of my country, the way of being of the people, the culture; made me feel like I was in Brazil. I am immensely grateful to God and to the Sisters who favoured enabled me to have this very beautiful experience.
It was the best thing that happened in this formation stage. It was a growth in my personal, spiritual and social life and also in formation. I pray a lot to God to bless the Sisters of Central America and hope to return one day to live longer in this region.
LÃºcia de FÃ¡tima Alves Nogueira