by Candidates Dalia D’Costa, Lopa Hajong and Thangshre Mangsang
What a happy day for us, as we were welcomed into the candidate program on March 2 at Deepaneeta Convent, Dharenda, Savar, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Sisters Pauline Gomes, first councilor for the Area of Asia, Barnita Scholastica Mangsang, vocation coordinator, Mala Kubi, candidate director, as well Sisters Hashi Margaret Pereira, Shopna Cecilia Gomes, Jui Clara Corraya, Rani Gumej, and Eva Elizabeth Costa, and second-year candidates and discerners attended the reception event.
The ceremony opened with a solemn prayer and procession. As we entered the chapel, all the participants received chandan, a paste made from sandalwood, on their foreheads. At that moment our feelings were inexpressible. We had been eagerly awaiting this day, and God’s blessing and love was boundless for us.
The theme of prayer for the ceremony was, “Vocation in the Life of Service.” It reminded us of the Gospel passage, “Many are called but few are chosen.” While reflecting on the theme, we felt that truly God had called us into a life of service. The prayer leaders shared a creative reading of the Psalms, acting out the message as it was read. During the reading, Sister Hashi Margaret blessed us with oil and Candidate Rumi Pathang arranged three branches in a vase as a sign of freshness of life.
Sister Pauline blessed the Directories of Prayer and the Servite rosaries (dolor beads). Then we dedicated ourselves to God with a prayer. After that, she gave each of us a directory and explained its meaning. She also gave us the dolor beads and asked us to be like our Lady of Sorrows. After this, all the sisters, candidates and discerners congratulated us.
We are truly happy and grateful, first to the Lord, then to the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, and finally to our parents. We ask for your prayers so that we can live faithfully on our new life journeys.