By Sister Cathy Parent, CDP
It is with great joy that the Sisters of Divine Providence announce the entrance of Miss. Christina Cńe Chávez into the Novitiate in San Antonio, Texas. At a simple ritual on July 31, 2016, Sister Ann Petrus, Superior General, welcomed Christina as a member of the congregation and presented her with a copy of our CDP Constitution and a medal of the Founder, Blessed John Martin Moye. As a sign of blessing and a commitment of support for Christina, Sister Ann led members present to sing a blessing, a hymn written by Sister Amy McFrederick, OP. This hymn, from Ephesians 3: 16-21, ‘Glory be to God’, has become a traditional blessing for many CDP celebrations.
Sister Christina’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Chavez, and her brother, Christian, witnessed the entrance into the novitiate and participated at the Mass of Thanksgiving which followed the entrance ritual. The entrance procession was led by Sister Christina’s brother, Christian, who was the Cross Bearer. He was followed by her parents and the Presider, Fr. Ron LaFramboise, OMI. Mr. and Mrs. Chavez also carried the gifts for the Offertory Procession. At the end of the Mass, huge applause rang out in Annunciation Chapel. A spirit of life and blessing prevailed throughout the entire Ritual and Liturgy.
The Constitution of the Sisters of Divine Providence states the following about the Novitiate Phase of Formation:
The purpose of novitiate is to initiate the individual into a form of life leading to a more intensive awareness of her call and response as a Sister of Divine Providence. Central to this initiation is the development of the novice’s relationship with Jesus as his disciple. It is a time to discern her potential for living the charism and spirit of the Congregation.
The novitiate phase consists of alternating periods of reflection, study, and apostolic activity. The time of novitiate is at least twelve months, but usually will extend to two years in order to include extended times of apostolic activity.
Sister Christina is from Crane, Texas, where she grew up in a strong Catholic family. She stated the following about her relationship with her family: “My parents have always instilled trust in God, and now we have the words to better explain what we mean.” This quote refers directly to the charism of Trust in Divine Providence, a charism that Sister Christina will be studying in depth in her first year of Canonical Novitiate. Prior to Sister Christina’s entrance into novitiate, she taught Middle School math at St. Paul’s Catholic School (San Antonio, TX). She took great interest in her students and is eager to develop her teaching skills for future education possibilities.
The Sisters of Divine Providence ask for prayers that this year will be a blessed year for Sister Christina as she grows in her relationship with Jesus and as she continues to discern her vocation as a Sister of Divine Providence.
[ Sister Cathy Parent is Formation Director for the Congregation of Divine Providence of San Antonio, TX ]