On 6th September we welcomed Leona Fernandes as a novice with a simple liturgy in the York CJ community.
During this liturgy, Leona was asked by Frances Orchard CJ, our Provincial Superior, whether she was ready to take on the commitment of the noviceship. Leona was given the CJ cross to wear, and a copy of the Constitutions of the Congregation of Jesus. The sisters present, both from our York community and the province more widely, joined in prayer for Leona and for those in charge of her formation during this time.
Leona will be a novice in York for two years, under the care of novice director Patricia Harriss CJ. During this time she will have the opportunity to deepen her knowledge of our congregation’s charism and history, as well as making the Spiritual Exercises in a thirty day retreat, and undertaking various ‘experiments’ (mission placements). This period of intense spiritual formation is meant to help the novice to further discern God’s call, and grow both in closeness to Christ and in knowledge of the congregation.
Leona lived in the London CJ community during her postulancy (pre-novitiate stage). During this time she volunteered with the Notre Dame Refugee Centre, a day centre in central London offering food, clothing and support to refugees and asylum seekers in need. She also volunteered with the ‘Young at Heart’ group for older parishioners at Sacred Heart, Quex Road, and with PACT, an organisation which supports the families of prisoners in the UK.
You can see more pictures of this event on our gallery page.
‘Christ has given us an example that in all things possible to us we might seek, with the help of his grace, to imitate and follow him, since he is the way which leads to life. May the Holy Spirit guide you and the prayers of Mary Ward and all her companions be with you on your journey, as you seek to know and do God’s will for you in this Congregation, which is a way to God.’
–Prayer from the liturgy for entry into the noviceship