Pastoral of Vocations

In this complex context of our human experience, like in a stormy sea that rocks our boat, lacking attractive events for those of us who have been assigned to write a page in the "book of life" on a daily basis, voices of bewilderment, fear and anguish are heard in our Vocation Ministry.

Vocation Ministry in this time of Grace… 

“Come, and see. So they went and saw where he was staying,
and they stayed with him that day (Jn 1:39)

Province of ManizalesProvince of ManizalesHowever, it is quite interesting, as it presents a challenge for us as consecrated women to understand that we are not just called to have a very well-structured project, but to be on the road... as Pope Francis asks of us. An approach that... witnesses the joy of our consecration and not the disappointment of tiredness, the fear of having or not having vocations, in order to fill the gaps left by our older sisters, who in other times were numerous and today we are the "little remnant of Israel". Hence it is important to create a new scheme from the certainty that God continues to call and does so by His grace, because He loves us and counts on our contribution as His creatures, so that we follow in His footsteps. He is a provident God who makes out of our poverty a great wealth: "I know in whom I have put my trust" (2Tim 1:12). He does not disappoint and continue to call men and women, young people and adolescents. He continues to knock at the door of our fragile heart... Why? Out of pure love... because He wanted to give the Church a Consecrated Life as a response to the stifled cries of our brothers and sisters and as a precious gift for the present and future of His people.

Here we recall all that Marie Poussepin, our Foundress, had to assume during the time of war and the post-war period, a time of grace where she was able to experience misery in all its dimensions and respond in a radical, faithful, creative and committed way to the challenges that the world presented her. It is essential to learn to read each sign as she did. She did not allow herself to be frightened by the subtle expressions of evil that tried to decimate her strength so that she would desert and betray her purposes and the dream of God in her and her transparency in the midst of so much need.

It is urgent to awaken our sensitivity following the example of the woman who knew how to "see what was right" in the eyes of her Lord. With audacity and courage, like the healing hand of the Divine Master of Nazareth, we must learn to read, see, contemplate reality..., and walk, build, heal; listen to the voices of our brothers and sisters in order to be true Sacraments of a God who today continues to call in the midst of the “God forgotten and self-sufficiency of man”.

It is important to learn to embrace the reality in order to heal and bless. It is essential to learn to feel the mild odor of the Suffering Servant, to go closer with the oil of love, to lift up those who are unknown, and wounded on the road... and thus to carry them and take care of those who are excluded by our unawareness of the reality around us and lack of humanness.

The examples and actions of some, invited others to come out of themselves and discover the call that the Lord was making to them from eternity. This is real witness and not a lecture.

It is God who calls and not man or woman... and we must be very clear about that. It is not the human being who calls, nor who kindles vocational restlessness in the hearts of young people and adolescents. It originates from God and in today's panorama, the mission of the Vocational Ministry is to accompany the young men and women on this path towards fulfillment and realization of God's project in each one, to be happy. A respectful accompaniment of their history, their conflicts, but, above all, a process in accompaniment that takes into account the wounded humanity of those who come to our houses in search of God who calls them.

Today we are in a digital era that presents us with a human being who changes at a dizzying speed, but she/he feels in herself/himself, a great nostalgia for God, because He has touched her/him at the gut level. Therefore, we have to change the way of approaching the youth, it is necessary to walk with them, to know their reality, to understand them with their emptiness, difficulties, dreams, crises and their search for meaning, for themselves, for ideals and even for God... Whom have not found yet... Here is where the humanness of the Vocation Promoter must affect and touch reality. She should be one that is able to reflect for and with them, so that she can respond to their concerns. The goal is not to "become equals" and lose our identity, but to learn how to understand them and work with them to know the project of Jesus as a response to their needs. The young people expect us to offer them a very different alternative than that is available in the world. They have already seen them... and they feel tired and empty of so much meaninglessness... They feel the need for something firmer and that gives them a direction... because they are lost in the absence of God... 

Our Vocation Ministry should be able to accompany the search of young men and women to assume the style, challenge and love proposal of Jesus that embraces all the dimensions of the life of a person. This starts from her/his daily activities, to the experience of a God-centered community that inspires them towards merciful and committed actions in service to our most needy and vulnerable brothers and sisters.

In the same way, it is a delicate mission that demands from the person who accompanies, a new fervor to welcome the "Holy Ground" of the one who approaches her and thus understand, support, enlighten and walk with him/her in their process of discernment and maturity of his/her search for fulfillment. It is important to create space for personal encounter, spiritual strengthening and discernment so that in a free and liberating way they will respond to their existential concerns.

Vocation Ministry is similar to the daily work of the good sower who sows the seed for which the ground needs to be prepared with delicacy and care so that the seed may not spoil, but can grow, flourish and bear abundant fruit. Or it is like the hard work of the assiduous fisherman who despite the days of hard work continues to cast the net. Although the fruits of his labor are scarce, he does it with the firm hope of achieving the best catch. Casting the net out to the sea as the Master of Nazareth indicated to his disciples, today His voice resounds in our hearts to attract others to the mission of making his Kingdom a reality at this moment in history.

Although the waves of the ocean of our life are rough and the boat is threatened to sink because of the circumstances and events that violate humanity, we continue trusting in the Word of the Lord, casting the net, seeking to find people who accept this call to discover the face of God in our brothers and sisters, especially those wounded by life circumstances.

May the God of Call and Promise clothe us with his divine armor so that we may continue to assume with creativity, audacity and courage, the mission he has entrusted to us, as builders and collaborators of the Kingdom, and prophets of hope in a world in need of God.

Text: Sr. Ana Patricia Vásquez Zapata 


Follow me 

Province of GuadalupeProvince of Guadalupe"We are called by the Lord to participate in his creative work, giving our contribution to the common good from the capacities we receive" (Christus Vivit, 253).

“Simon, son of John, Follow me...
When you were young... you went where you wanted.
But when you get old...
Someone else will take you where you do not want to go...
Follow me!” (Jn 21).
 

Marie Poussepin, a woman who, hearing the call of the Lord, responded to the needs of the time, leaves Dourdan, a small prosperous town where she was born, to go and live in the humble village of Sainville, in the heart of Beauce, periodically ravaged by war, famine, and epidemics, and where “ignorance was widespread, to say the least”. OV This Gospel reveals to us the root of all spirituality and returns to us in the simplicity of Christian identity. It teaches us that to be a disciple of Jesus is to follow Him, and that this is what the Christian life consists of. Jesus essentially calls everyone to follow Him and all of Christianity is built on our response to this call. (Mt 8:18-22; 9:9; 10:38; 19:21.28; Mk 1:17-18; 3:13-14; Lk 14:25-27; Jn 1:43; 8:12; 10:27; 21:15-22).

To be a Christian is to follow Christ out of love. It is Jesus who asks us if we love Him and we answer our yes to Him. He invites us to follow Him: “You follow me..." (John 21). That’s all. It's that simple. Ignorant, full of faults, Jesus will lead us to holiness, provided we begin by loving Him and have the courage to follow Him.

Following is at the root of all Christian calls. Without this:
 
  • There is no spirituality of the cross, because we would not hear the call to carry it.
  • There is no spirituality of prayer, because we would not be able to incorporate ourselves into the prayer of the One whom we follow.
  • There is no spirituality of poverty, because we would not live the detachment of those who are faithful in following an impoverished God.
  • There is no spirituality of commitment, because every commitment or dedication to the other is the fruit of fidelity to the path that Jesus followed.

Source: Segundo Galilea, "Pastoral Popular Religiosity"

Province of GuadalupeProvince of GuadalupeThe Dominican Sisters of Charity of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin are women who, in obedience to God's call, have chosen to follow Christ in community life to know him, love him and announce him through "everything that charity inspires them ", "wherever the Church calls us and our brothers and sisters need us" (C 84).

We are women who, trusting in the Word of God, decide to surrender every other quest to the pursuit of God made flesh. That is why we struggle every day in the evangelical expression of "selling everything", in order to acquire that pearl and that hidden treasure that constitutes the following of Jesus (Mt. 13:44-46).

AND YOU, ARE YOU INTERESTED IN FOLLOWING CHRIST WITH US!

Text: Sr. Evelyn Guadalupe Cecilia Córdova Grande


The experience that God loves us, become a vocation

In Dourdan-France, more than three centuries ago there was a great woman who managed to change the reality of ignorance, hunger, suffering and abandonment of the inhabitants of a small and forgotten French town called Sainville. Her name is Marie Poussepin.  Marie Poussepin, founder of the Congregation of Charity Dominican Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin, was a woman who lived fully the will of God. She is the humble, pious and charitable woman, servant of the Lord, who unites in a single glance her love to God and to people. It is offered to us as a way to live the project of Jesus. Why:
 

“The experience that God loves us in an absolutely free, personal and unique way, is done in us "vocation" of radical following of Jesus Christ" (Ratio, Pg. 35)

Province of Los AndesProvince of Los Andes

The vocation as God's call is at the same time the election and gift that the Lord makes in a particular way to young people who generously want to live out their project of love in the world. Today as yesterday, many young women continue to find in Marie Poussepin a model of generous response to the invitation of Jesus Christ "COME AND FOLLOW ME". A young woman like you, can also discover that GOD SPEAKS to her in her personal life and in the reality that she lives today.
 
FOR YOU...
  • You are looking for Life that never disappoints, that you feel that Love calls you to give and to give you more...
  • That you have asked yourself about the meaning of your life and God's plan for you ... We tell you: dare! and go for a walk ... Christ is the way, after his footprints see!
We, the Dominican Sisters of the Presentation, as Marie Poussepin wanted, live in prayerful, fraternal and missionary communities. We go through the world -36 countries- announcing the gratuity of God's love through the service of Charity.
 

WE INVITE YOU TO FOLLOW CHRIST WITH US.
DARE! TAKE A STEP IN FAITH

Text: Srs. Rocío Cuéllar, Maribel Burgos and Natalia Huamán


The Dominican Community that Marie Poussepin wanted was to have charity as its soul

In the imitation of Christ, Marie Poussepin, in a tireless quest for God, touched by the misery, sickness and ignorance that she discovered in Sainville availed herself to serve others. Only one contemplative aim, love of God and love of others moved her to speak to God or of God with a charity full of mercy and compassion.

Province of BogotáProvince of Bogotá

Charity which is particularly attentive to the poorest through a creative charity which is not content with giving just necessary and indispensable relief, but finding ways to offer them work for their own subsistence. Charity which embraces the human being as a whole and wants to respond to its different hungers: hunger for bread and for knowledge, hunger for dignity and recognition, hunger for happiness, hunger for truth and hunger for God.

Since her youth, Marie Poussepin’s faith was anchored in an open, ecclesial and committed life. Being rooted in the local Church marked her life and all her works. The sisters were sent "for the service of the parish". Her sense of the Church and obedience allowed her to bear, without weakening, the trials that accompanied the growth of her Project. In order to give with such energy throughout her long life, Marie Poussepin applied herself to a true and solid devotion, "imitating the life that Our Lord led on earth”. It was He who was at the heart of her life, her prayer and her service to others, at the heart of her encounters with her sisters and with all those she met in one way or another. It was Our Lord, the Eucharistic bread, the bread of the World who nourished her and moved her to share it with others.

In confidence and joy, Marie Poussepin turned toward Mary, the Mother of Christ and our Mother. Marie Poussepin wished that the Community would honour and imitate Mary in the mystery of the Presentation, mystery of the call, and mystery of acceptance, faith in this God who “fills the starving with good things and sends the rich away empty”. When one has a broad mission and open heart, how can one alone respond to the cries that one hears, to the needs that one perceives? A few companions joined Marie Poussepin forming a small nucleus of the community of the Third Order of St. Dominic. The Dominican Community that Marie Poussepin wanted was to have charity as its soul. This love of God and neighbor was first of all expressed in the community where there was no distinction of persons and where neither country nor birth gave way for differences. This did not mean egalitarianism, but full acknowledgment of each one with her values, her possibilities and also her limitations. In this community, united in the name of Jesus Christ, the Word is welcomed, shared, studied and celebrated. The Eucharist and reconciliation are leaven for growth and unity. The Virgin Mary is an example calling us to a life of gift of self in faith and humility of heart.

Source: "Formation in the Congregation. Ratio Formationis"

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