Vocation Ministry - Fiji
The Sisters asked me to go to a meeting with formators from all the Religious Orders. When I went I felt really out of place. I came home with that feeling and I told the sisters at home that it was not for me. It was only when I came back from Sydney that I was told that a group had been set up for Vocation Promotion and that Josefa had been filling in for me. This time when I went to the group I felt more comfortable.
I see myself as going out and sharing with the young people and inviting them to religious life. I ask them “Have you ever thought of Religious Life? Have you ever thought of being a sister? Are you married? The people look surprised and we have a laugh. I ask them what they are thinking of and have they got a boyfriend.
It is that encounter with the young people that gives me life. You are talking with people and you are challenging them I am telling people that I am a Sister of Compassion and I invite them to come and see where I live and to see the work that the sisters are doing.
I know that young people are just waiting to be asked or to be invited. It is important to just let young people know that there are Sisters of Compassion in Fiji. Most people only know of the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary (SMSM), the sisters of Our Lady of Nazareth (SOLN) or the Congregation of Mary - Marist Sisters. I want to let the young people know that there are other groups of Religious Orders and so I keep on inviting. We have had one expo for vocations at Lautoka Parish Hall. The first one was at the Marist Brothers Lambert Hall in Suva. The third expo will be at the same place. This one on the 30th September we will include the priests. All the different orders have their allotted places and their displays about their congregations.
At the first expo there were about 200 young people that attended. During the night we had a programme for them. Young religious shared their personal stories of their calling and the young people participated in groups. They experienced sharing, time for refreshment and a dawn Mass at 5.00 am. There was a candle light Rosary prior to Mass.
I want to promote vocations as young people are saying thank you for this opportunity. They have said “We are able to see that there are more religious orders. Thank you for displaying the information as it enables us to know and we have been given many more choices as to discern our individual calling.”
The choices that the young people make are informed and they can see easily how they can respond to their Baptismal call, whether it is married life, religious life, the single life or priesthood.
By Sister Lusiana Raratini Chanel Home of Compassion Suva, Fiji - July 2005