31 JAN, 2019. Two postulants were received into the novitiate at the Louis Bautain Formation House, Apromase, Ghana, during November and December 2018. On November 9, Sheila Ayagiba began her novitiate training, following a simple ceremony, and she was joined, on December 8, by Sophia Adu-Amankwaah.
The novices were encouraged to reflect on the dates of their reception, which coincided with great feasts in the Church; the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica on November 9 signifies our dedication to God and his work and December 8 was the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of our Lady, when God freed her from original sins at her conception so that she could bring forth the saviour to us all. The Novices were told to let these feast days speak to them as they take this important step in life.
Sheila’s reading was from 1 Samuel 3: 1-10. Therefore, she was encouraged to develop the attitude of deep listening to follow the guidance of her formators, as the boy Samuel did, in order to discern the will of God for her. Sophia chose her readings from Jeremiah 1: 4-10, emphasizing that God knows her strengths and weaknesses, yet he has called her to serve him. She was advised to persevere and continually return to the one who has called her. The new novices were congratulated in joyous songs and dance.
Novitiate is an important period in Religious Life, where the individual discerns her vocation and becomes convinced of the life that she has chosen. It involves prayer, inner transformation and preparation for apostolic work. The novice is expected to internalize what she learns and prepare herself to make a commitment. When it may seem to others that vocation in the Ghana Region is slow, sisters are hopeful that they will attract many young women to join them in serving the Lord. The reception ceremony of the two women is an assurance that the Ghana Region is growing gradually and steadily.
We give thanks to God for the vocation of these two young women and pray that God will sustain them in their journey.
This story was published in Issue 82 of our monthly newsletter Musings. To access Issue 82, click HERE.