VOCATIONAL WALK IN TIMES OF COVID-19 IN SAO MARTINHO-VIANA COMMUNITY
We want to greet to all the sisters of our congregation as well as all the candidates to be part of the Dominican Missionary Sisters of the Rosary. We want to share with you our vocational walk as internal candidates of Sao Martinho-Viana community in Portugal and what our daily life has been in times of a “social lockdown” since last March.
As you know, all academic and pastoral activities that are included in our formation were suspended. However, we have learned to appreciate more the time we have and to take advantage of it. In the community we went in depth in our knowledge of Jesus Christ, the Charisma of our Congregation, Personality and Human Relationships and Portuguese through study sessions that were given by the sisters of the community. This formation is complemented with external works, sewing, decoration, and “COVID ART.”
With this experience we noticed that COVID 19’s situation kept us apart from activities we have scheduled at the beginning of the year, but it also taught us that each of us has “asleep talents and gifts”, that have been awakened and put into the service of our brothers, as it is said on 1 Peter 4, 10-11: “As each of one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
This moment of grace was also an opportunity to meditate about the message of Pope Francis “Laudato Si” with concrete actions and attitudes about the treatment we give towards trees, plants, animals and use of solid waste, which meant to use garbage to express our art. We used fabric pieces, bottles, newspaper, plastic, etc. to make our manual work. We made baskets, decorative candles, fabric dolls, bracelets, small briefcases…Our fabric dolls were given to children from poor families on June 16th, the day of the African Child.
Later, we organized our fair “ARTE COVID” (“Covid art”), where two neighbor communities participated: Manos Dominicanos (S. Alberto Magno – Postulancy) and Manas Dominicanas (S. Jose – Novitiate). We have lived this day with immense joy, a special day where we could share with our brothers and sisters our work during this “pandemic.”
Today we want to share with our sisters our experience and to tell them that we are grateful to God for the gifts we have received and have practiced with much love, without forgetting the sisters who accompany us, because they have helped us to discover what is the most precious in each of us. We want to encourage young girls who are in formation for not let pessimism to influence on them and the sadness for the COVID 19’s situation that is affecting our countries. Let’s be creative, let’s practice activities that keep us busy and let’s do our vocational judgment discovering what each day God has for us.
Candidates Feliciana, Fernanda, Fatima and Maria Joao.