My name is Sister Bongani, I am originally from Zimbabwe, and am based within the Southern African region.
As we say,
We do not choose God instead God chooses us
I grew up within the Congregation of the Daughters of Calvary. When I felt God was calling me, I knew I wanted to be a Sister. Following this feeling, I spoke to my Parish Priest about my desire to become a Sister, and his first question to me was, “Which Congregation do you feel drawn to?”
I did not know that there were other Congregations, with different Charism’s, leading alternative ways of life. All I knew was that I wanted to seek God, and serve Him as a Sister.
Responding with an unsure answer, I was given the Catholic News magazine, to read and review the many Congregations offering their teachings.
I came across an advertisement for the Sisters of Nazareth. It was a very simple advertisement; an image of a Sister holding a child. You could see the intimacy between the Sister and the child – the love and care – you could sense the child felt a belonging in the Sister’s arms.
The simplicity of the message of love touched my heart, and I knew this is what I was looking for.
I attended the ‘Come and See’ programme. I was inspired by the Sisters, their commitment to prayer life, community life and the apostolate. It was like a community of Sisters. I felt welcome, and at home.
From the time I entered the Novitiate, up until now, the spirit is the same regardless where you are within the Congregation – from the Southern African region to the UK region. You always feel a at home, and a belonging.
The importance of prayer life and community life give me the encouragement, the motivation and the zeal to continue with my vocational journey. During my time as a Novice, I learnt at a deeper level about the Congregation, community life, our apostolic life, and the Church and its teachings. This learning continues.
On my part as a Sister, with the grace of God, I am there to be an example to the people I work with, and those I serve. Also, I need the people I work with, and those I serve in my journey of faith. There is a lot to be learnt from them.
My vision for the future, I see myself as a Sister of Nazareth, and a nurse to the community I am sent to. We are a true family of Nazareth, Sisters, lay staff, residents and children. It brings deep joy to me that as a big family we will be able to share and practice the Core Values of the Congregation which are from the Gospels.
Once again with great confidence and full of hope, I see a bright future for the whole ‘Nazareth Family’; working together in unity, for the Kingdom of God.
I say this because I believe that the same Holy Spirit which inspired our Foundress Victoire Larmenier is the same spirit, which is with us today, and it is the same spirit which will be with us in the future.