International Juniorate in Rome

One of the important highlights of the  Council of Congregation held in Manila in February 2010 has underscored our being a missionary Congregation.

A week before the start of the Council of the Congregation, all the 30 participants of the Council joyfully joined the celebration of the  150 years foundation of the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres in Saigon, Vietnam.  A very significant event where each participant had the occasion to have a spiritual encounter with Mother Benjamin le Noël de Groussy, our great missionary in the Far East. 

This rekindled the missionary ideals of the sisters called to enter into the mission of Jesus Christ, challenging us anew to renew our missionary horizons, to develop within ourselves and in our local communities, the sense of internationality and of universality of the Church and of the Congregation by being strong signs of the Church’s universality ourselves. (Capitular Acts 2007, p. 11)
In English
The call to strengthen the missionary formation in the initial and continuous formation is first and foremost so that we may be able to answer the urgent need of our time today. This challenges in us  a greater awareness on how to harness our capacity  to “widen the space of our tent, extend the curtains of our homes and not to hold back! To lengthen our ropes, make our tent-pegs firm, for we will burst out to right and to left… as Isaiah said. (Isaiah 54:2-3). 

Our world today has become a virtual reality of encounter of people quite far from us, actually more than a thousand miles away from us but are just a digital touch away. But the faces of pain and suffering are still one and the same, morphing into a million times of expressions and forms but they are still the different faces of Jesus clothed in our abject humanity today.
A response to this call is imminent.  An International Juniorate Program is set-up in Rome in September, 2010, whose primary aim is to accompany the young sisters in their formation towards a greater and deeper missionary awareness and praxis.

Three Junior Sisters arrived in Rome  last September 2010 to continue their Juniorate formation here in the Generalate.  They are Sr. Josefa Alves de Melo from Brazil, Sr. Zennie To Phuong Lan from USA and Sr. Theresa Punnachet from Thailand.

Last September 2012, another Junior arrived from East Timor to join the group.

Aside from entering into this International Juniorate Program they  will also take up courses in Catechesis, Spirituality and Theology  respectively.  They will be accompanied in their formation journey by Sr. Maria Lourdes Casas.
Meet our Juniors in Rome
Sr. Zennie Phuong Lan To
Sr. Elisabeth Situngkir
This is the favorite Scripture text of Sr. Zennie because everytime she meditates on these words, she can feel the presence of God alive within her, accompanying her in her everyday  journey in life.

Sr. Zennie is a second year Junior sister. She is Vietnamese by birth but grew up in Wyoming, Michigan, USA.  She is a Medical Records and Health Information graduate. She was working in Advantage Health Hospital in Michigan prior to her entrance to the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres (SPC). Gifted with an innate helping spirit, Sr. Zennie always finds the time to volunteer in her parish,  at the Our Lady of La-Vang when she met the Sisters working in the parish.

Her desire when she was young to belong to God and to serve Him was rekindled when she met the Sisters. This made her volunteer to help the sisters teach catechism to children after her work in the hospital. After a year of observing the life of the sisters by joining their hours of prayers and working with them during week ends, she decided to enter the SPC Congregation. Sr. Zennie has great devotion to Our Lady.

She is taking up courses on Theology in Formation at Mater Ecclesia in Angelicum University as she continues her Juniorate Formation here in Rome.
Sr. Theresa Kaetkaew Punnachet
“What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.”        Philippians 3:8                                                  
                                                                             
Epiphany Celebration Participation
This letter of St. Paul to the Philippians became an inspiration for Sr. Theresa not to look back on what she has left behind in order to pursue her desire to follow Jesus through the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres (SPC).  Gifted with a joyful spirit, she counts everything as loss because of  the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus Christ

Sr. Theresa is a second year Junior Sister from Thailand. Attracted to the charism of charity of the Sisters of St. Paul in Thailand where she had her  basic education, her  desire to become a religious SPC started when she was in the grade school.  However, the sister who knew her desire to become a nun, advised her  to continue to pray for her religious vocation as she continues her studies. After she finished her Bachelor's degree in Assumption University in Thailand, she went to London to pursue her Masteral and Doctoral degrees.

In London, she stayed in the dormitory run by the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres (SPC).  It was here that  the seed of religious vocation flourished when she saw the simplicity of life of the SPC Sisters.  After finishing her studies,  she became very active in research studies in Catholic Education in the University of London, her alma mater, working as a Research Associate.  Later on she worked as an Administrator at the Centre for Research and Development in Catholic Education (CRDCE), Institute of Education in the university.

She also  joined several pilgrimages during summer breaks and vacations from work and explored the world. While in London, she had many opportunities to do or achieve anything she wants.  However, it was during this time of overwhelming gratitude to God that she 'heard' the call again. This time the "call" she heard in her heart was much stronger than when she heard it when she was in the grade school in Thailand. Finally, she has decided to join the SPC Congregation as it also fits her desire to serve Christ in the education ministry.

She went back home to Thailand, visited her old school and met her old sister-teachers again, reminiscing her halcyon days with them. The Sisters saw that she was ready and welcomed her with joy.

Sr. Theresa has a special love for the Holy Trinity.

Like Sr. Elisabeth and Sr. Zennie, Sr. Theresa is continuing her Juniorate Formation in Rome as she pursues her studies in Philosophy and Theology in Angelicum University.
For me to live is Christ
                           Philippians 1:21
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When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you. When you seek me,  you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart.      Jer. 29:12-13                                                                                                    
Renewal of Temporary Vows of Sr. Zennie and
Sr. Theresa
* Mission Ad Gentes           * Servant - leadership ministry

* Formation ministry          * Followership ministry                                                              
World Youth Day - Madrid
2010 Events
2011
Parish Exposure at Torpignatarra and Caritas Roma
Christmas Activities
"For me to live is Christ" is the scriptural text that I chose when I pronounced my vows in 2008, and until now this exhortation of St. Paul continues to inspire me in carrying out the call to follow Christ. 

With the passage of time, I always get the strength by reflecting on this text. I have realized how much Jesus has given Himself as a sacrifice for us all and for me personally.  The experience of Paul in following Jesus inspires me follow Jesus devotedly.  Jesus was always 'walking' with Paul and I believe that Jesus would do the same with me.

The desire to become a sister had always been in my heart since I was a child.  But the decision to become a religious and join the SPC Congregation happened only after working  for  3 years in the industry.

My response to  follow Jesus happened gradually. I was an active member in our parish and has participated all its activities.  A holy priest one day, gave me a book entitled, Following the Footsteps of Jesus Christ.  He told me to read it. And so every night before I go to sleep, I would read it leisurely and spend some time thinking about it.  I was so inspired to meditate the different guidelines written in that book and felt that God was calling me to follow him.  There were many congregations to choose from and options to follow for my career.  But everytime I attended the adoration prayer service of the SPC sisters, I was drawn more and more  to pray and got interested to know their way of life. Later on I decided to join them, (Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres),  to follow Jesus. 

Sr. Elisabeth is a 3rd Year Junior from Indonesia.  Being an architect, she was busy building churches and convents back in Indonesia when she heard the call of God to follow him. 

She is taking up courses on Theology in Formation at Mater Ecclesia in Angelicum University as she continues her Juniorate Formation here in Rome.

8-day Retreat in Galloro, Italy
2013
Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres
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Pilgrimage at Lucca and Pisa
“Whatever you did to the least one  you did for me.”
                                                                   Matthew 25:45

This biblical text is very meaningful for Sister Olga de Araujo Oliveira.  She gives credit to her mother for   showing her how to live out this biblical passage.

Coming from a very catholic background, her mother was always generous to share the food to the hungry and would tell her that,  “Whatever we did to the least one, we did to Jesus.”   As a child this text never fails to touch her heart.   Her mother always reminds her that the more we give the more we receive,” which she herself experienced in her lilfe.

Sr. Olga is from East Timor.  When she was in the Primary School, she tried imitating the good example of sharing of her mother to her friends and neighbors.

She felt that her vocation started when she met the sister who gave recollection to them when she was in grade four. She asked the sister so many questions about God and afterwards she said to herself that she also wants to become like this sister.

During her senior year in High School,  she remembered the face of the sister who inspired her so much to attend the Mass daily, participate in the parish activities, join the parish choir and a religious organization that goes around the house in their neighborhood to pray the rosary.  In all of these, she kept to her heart her growing attraction to the religious life.

After her high school graduation, her uncle who noticed her extraordinary piety asked her if she wanted to become a religious?  Before she knew it, her parents accompanied her to Railaco to meet the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres.  The sisters encouraged and guided her to discover more of her religious vocation as she pursued her studies.  Her desire to become a religious was further confirmed when she had a serious motorcycle accident and was completely healed through the intercession of the Our Lady of Lourdes.

Sr. Olga gives thanks to God for all the graces that she has received especially for calling him to a life of consecration.





Sister Olga de Araujo Oliveira
'3 Kings' Celebration             
Taize in Rome
2012
Renewal of Vows Video clips
Renewal of Vows photos
2014 
EVENTS
Renewal of Vows of Sr. Olga
Perpetual Profession
Ceremony Video Clips
Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV