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 published: 2007-09-21

Follow Christ without fear…

Atibaia, Brazil: Bishop José Maria Pinheiro presided the reception of nine novices of the Sisters of Mary


2. September: Einkleidung von neun Novizinnen in Atibaia, Brasilien

2 de septiembre: Vestición en Atiabaia, Brasil

September 2: Reception in Atibaia, Brazil

2. September: Einkleidung von neun Novizinnen in Atibaia, Brasilien


Neun junge Frauen sagen Ja zu ihrer Berufung

Nueve mujeres jovenes dicen si a su vocación

Nine young women say yes to their vocation

Neun junge Frauen sagen Ja zu ihrer Berufung

Bischof Dom José Maria Pinheiro  

Dom José Maria Pinheiro

Bishop Dom José Maria Pinheiro

Bischof Dom José Maria Pinheiro

Eine der “neuen Schwestern” im Kreis ihrer Freunde  

Una de las „nuevas hermanas“ con sus amigos

One of the “new sisters” with her friends

Eine der “neuen Schwestern” im Kreis ihrer Freunde

Schwester Camila mit ihrer Gruppe aus der Mädchenjugend  

Hna Camila con su grupo de la Juventud Femenina

Sister Camila with her group of the Girls’ Youth

Schwester Camila mit ihrer Gruppe aus der Mädchenjugend

Festlicher Einzug

Procesión solemne

Solemn procession

Festlicher Einzug

Fotos: Ir. M. Nilza © 2007

Álbum de fotos – photo album – Fotoalbum


BRAZIL, Sister Adriana Maria Barbosa. "The here and now is not enough.. our life is in our hands and it depends, to a certain extent, on our decision…Jesus is the only one who is capable of giving us a response." Nine young women responded to this challenge made by the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, during his visit to Brazil.

 The joy of the response was on the faces of these novices of the Institute of Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary in Atibaia (Sao Paulo). They radiated purity and happiness, confirming to the youth that:

The happiness that they seek, the happiness that we have a right to taste, has a name, a face: it is Jesus of Nazareth, hidden in the Eucharist…He is someone who does not deceive and who cannot deceive, and for this reason he is capable of offering such a firm certainty, that allows one to live for it and also die for it. (Benedict XVI)

A sign of the presence of Mary

September 1st, a beautiful sunny day in which the tolling of the bells was united with the happy song of the birds that seemed to be greeting the nine young women who are giving themselves to God forever. Thirteen priests, deacons, seminarians, altar boys, and the Diocesan Bishop of Braganca, Paulista, José Maria Pinheiro, accompanied the solemn procession of novices on the way to the Shrine. The majority of the priests, who joyfully participated in this ceremony, are pastors of the novices.

Each novice’s state flag solemnly led the procession. The novices entered the tent, which was beautifully decorated, to the festive sound of Jubilee Aleluya followed by Let us Sing to the Lord. The Belcanto Choir embellished the solemnity with their beautiful songs.

The liturgy inspired gratitude and joy for the generous self-giving of the novices:

They celebrate a new birth as they enter the consecrated life: they are born for the world as a sign of the presence of Mary, like a testimony of joy that emerges from the Gospel. John Paul II, 2-2-2000.

The ceremony began with the rite of dressing. Sister M. Ane Goncalves, Provincial Superior of the Sisters of Mary, presented the new Sisters and after the blessing of the dresses, Monsignor José Marie presented each one their new clothing with these words, "Accept the dress of Mary as a sign of your election and mission." Then they left to put on the Marian dress. Meanwhile the participants again heard the message of Pope Benedict XVI to the youth during his visit to Brazil Grande. It was moving to hear his voice once more.

The new Sisters of Mary

The new Sisters of Mary were welcomed with the beautiful hymn, Come, spouse of Christ. They radiated happiness making their parents, relatives, and many youth present very happy. Suely, of the Mothers’ Federation, characterized the ceremony by saying:

We feel as if heaven is touching earth at this moment. The songs elevate us with their harmony; the smiles on those angelic faces express the same emotion of a wedding day, but of a special wedding, a unique one, with Jesus. The moment when they returned as Sisters of Mary was very touching. Now they belong to the Schoenstatt Family.

Yes, as Pope Benedict XVI says, "Love is the great strength that drives so many lives to leave everything to follow Christ. An all that is nothing, to embrace the true All that is God". During the offertory procession and for their uniting with Christ, the novices demonstrated their self-giving by the symbols they brought forth, and during the time of intercession where they embraced the entire world through prayers entrusted to God. So, the Eucharistic moment was a profound intimacy with Jesus, the moment in which He in them consecrated the world anew.

The greatest joy in the world

They also participated in their "yes." The parents had been near the Shrine since the day before, and during a special ceremony they also gave their "yes" by consecrating their daughters to Jesus through Mary. One of the fathers expressed his joy by commenting that he now had the "best son-in-law."

During lunch, a great joy reigned in the gathering of families. In the afternoon, the novices received a tribute from their parents, friends, and people from their parishes, especially from the Schoenstatt Girls’ Youth who were present to give prestige to the lilies from their groups, who were transplanted into the garden of the Institute of the Sisters of Mary.

The parents of Sister Alexandra Maria explained how they felt:

Our greatest happiness in the world is having such a special daughter, who has given us so much joy when she was with us an now it makes us happy to have her here. Until now she was our only daughter, but today we gained eight more daughters. We consider ourselves parents of all of them.

Follow Christ without fear

Each novice had a history of struggles and conquests before she arrived at this day. Sister Camila from Sao José dos Campos (Sao Paul) has had the support of her parents, since they were coordinators for many years of the Pilgrim MTA Infant and Youth Rosary Campaign. The Blessed Mother rewarded them by choosing Camila for total consecration. The parents of Sister Carolina Maria affirmed that they had received a great gift:

We are not the ones who have given God something, on the contrary, God is the one who gave us a gift, and we are grateful for this gift, which is divine and unique. A vocation is a grace, a gift, that only God can explain.

And speaking about vocations, the father said, "The family needs to cultivate so that vocations which the Church and the world need so much will emerge." Sister Carolina Maria tells the youth, her friends:

It is worthwhile to follow Christ without fear. We would not exchange the joy that He gives for anything that the world can offer us. …that everything is a conquest, and this conquest is done along with the Blessed Mother.

Sister Camila Maria discovered her vocation through her Schoenstatt Girls’ Youth Group. Natalia Ferreira Ronieri, who was the leader of her group, affirmed:

Sister Camila is an example of a great giving of self, which can only be explained in a supernatural way. Today, in the world in which we live, something like this is to hear God’s call. And to follow the call is like signing a blank check. What we admire the most is that Camila’s decision was made freely. We can say it because she belonged to our Girls’ Youth Group from Ibipora, and we know that is was a free decision. Her smile reveals her happiness, and this happiness can only be had by someone who is free.

The Church needs you

During these days in which the 60th Anniversary of Father Kentenich’s first visit to Brazil is remembered, these girls have given themselves wholly to Christ, to the Schoenstatt Work, and to the service of the Church. Through their self-giving, they are confirming the words of the Pope to the youth, here, in Brazil:

You are the youth of the present, of the Church and of humanity. You are the young face! The Church needs you, as youth, to manifest the face of Jesus Christ to the world that is formed in the Christian community.

Translation: Celina Garza, Harlingen, TX, USA/amj


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