Sister Jane Iannucelli, President, and Sister Mary Ann Daly, Regional Coordinator, traveled to Quiché Guatemala on December 31, 2016 to join Sisters Nora Cunningham, Gloria De Arteaga, Rosenda Castañeda Gonzalez, Virginia Searing, and Marie Tolle for a Mass and ceremony to receive Sister Manuela Quiché Tzoc and Sister María Pablo Andres into the Sisters of Charity Novitiate, and Juana Margarita Tax Alvarez into the Postulant Program.
Novices are official members of the congregation. Sisters Manuela and María will prepare for two more years before making a decision about vows. During these years they will study the Constitution and Directory of the Congregation in depth. While they continue to learn more about living in community, there will be a focus on ministry and the opportunity for different experiences of being “on mission.” Central during these years is the continued discernment of their call and the prayerful preparation for first vows.
This year Sister Manuela and Sister María will work with Sr. Marie Tolle two days a week in Novillero in addition to living in two different rural communities for several weeks. Sister María Pablo Andrés Santos was born in the department of Huehuetenango into a large family. She is currently in her last year of university preparing to be a bi-lingual teacher for the middle grades. Sister Manuela Quiché Tzoc was born in Solola and also has a large family. She has known the Sisters of Charity for many years as the Congregation has worked in her community. She graduated as a secretary last year but is pursuing her interest in health ministry.
The Postulant Program focuses on introducing a woman to community life and prayer while she is accompanied by her director and supported by the local community.
New Postulant Juana Margarita Tax Alvarez was born in Xela and has four brothers and two sisters. Juana Margarita has a certificate as an accountant. She has been discerning with the Congregation for a few years and has lived as a temporary resident in the formation house for two months in 2016. She will participate in an inter-community postulant formation program twice a week in Guatemala City and volunteer in Sacred Heart Parish, Quiché, as well as participate in a catechist training program.
Also during this trip Sisters Jane and Mary Ann:
- Visited a parish clinic run by Sister Rosenda in Santa Cruz. The clinic’s funding was made possible by funds received from mission talks in New York parishes last summer. The clinic is open five days a week from 9 am to 1 pm.
- Participated in the blessing of the refurbished clinic in Nohulà, Sololá. Sister Marie Tolle and Associate Dr. Jose Miguel Vasquez secured a donation to refurbish the floors, walls and counters to make the space inviting and functional. The clinic, known as the Saint Elizabeth Seton Clinic, provides prenatal and general care to its patients. The plaques on the clinic walls trace the history and contributions of the Diocese of Spokane and the Sisters of Charity to the clinic over the years.
- Visited the newly built parish center in Novillero, which commemorates the dedication of the Sisters of Charity, especially Sister M. Immaculata Burke, SC, to the parish and its people.
- Visited the Barbara Ford Peacebuilding Center where, under the direction of Sr. Virginia Searing, continues to provide opportunities for young people to learn skills to enable them to become entrepreneurs with the honey-making and pollen-selling cooperative, and sewing classes. The projects involving food security, irrigation and natural medicines will ensure a healthier population. With a staff of sixty-eight, the Center is able to provide assistance in rural areas as well as to those who are able to travel to the Center itself.
Sisters Jane and Mary Ann returned renewed and delighted to find the charism of Charity alive and well in Guatemala. Love is truly inventive into infinity!