Sister Maria Fortunata Gomes de Oliveira

Graca Aranha, MA, Brazil

I am Sister Mary Fortunata and I was born in Brejo, Maranhao, Brazil. My family lives in the city of Timon, which is the city on the other side of the river Parnaiba. I cross the bridge and I am practically at home. I am 25 years old and have known the sisters for four years.

I had an inner urging, a nudging within me, to look up the Sisters of St. Joseph and to find out and understand what was the meaning of this strong desire within my heart, the desire to be one of them. Because of this urge, I try to correspond to God’s call to me, to understand better His love and radiate life as Jesus did in the midst of us.

I began to live with the sisters as an aspirant on March 15, 2000, in Amarante, Piaui. It was a very good time, sharing life together and learning how to live with others and to live with the people in Amarante. I traveled to the smaller towns together with the sisters, learning about the communities during the Jubilee Year.

On March 19, 2001, I entered the Congregation as a postulant along with three other companions. We spent many happy moments together searching for the meaning of not only religious life but our life also. I discovered many aspects of my comportment with the help of the sisters. Those were years of maturing growth, receiving graces, accepting myself, and being open to new relationships.

Entering the novitiate was a moment of great joy and happiness. I had hope and confidence in God all these years, and the dream of being a Sister was happening. It was a beautiful celebration, followed by a festive meal together with our families and the sisters. I was so happy to have experienced such joy. It was a truly marvelous experience.

I made first vows in January 2005.

I keep all who read this in my prayers.