Sister Luciene Maria de Cavalho — 25 years

December 31, 2013 by

web-LucieneMariadeCarvalho-AMB-copy-2PARENTS:  Alberto Batista de Carvalho and Maria Luisa de Carvalho.
HOMETOWN: Lagoa Grande (Big Lake), Maranhão, Brazil
RECEIVED INTO THE CONGREGATION: Jan. 25, 1989
EDUCATION:
Philosophy College Meio Norte Evangelical College, Teresina, Piauí, Brazil (bachelor’s degree in philosophy); post-grad courses in psycho-pedagogy; Catholic Institute of Superior Studies of Piauí (ICESPI) (studying religious education)
MISSIONS:
1990-1992   Picos, Piauí, doing pastoral works, community formation, catechesis, Bible groups and youth ministry.
1993-1994   Vila Operária, Teresina, working with Guadalupe Center and pastoral youth groups
1995   Ribeira, Tocantins, teaching, leading youth pastoral groups and Bible groups, building communities
1996 -1999   Carmolândia, Tocantins, formation of leaders in 10 rural communities and youth ministry
2000-2003   Parque Mão Santa, Teresina, teaching and working with youth
2004-2006   Amarante, Piauí, teaching, continued formation of leaders in the rural  communities and youth formation
2007-present   Teresina, Vila Operária, serving as General Treasurer of the Teresina Mission, and teaching and working with youth.

Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.
— John 15:9

I am the second child in a family of seven children.  I always helped my mother to take care of my sisters and brothers who were younger than me, and I also helped out on the farm. We lived in the rural area of the state of  Maranhão. Eventually I went to live in Amarante, Piauí, with my godmother and her children, so I could continue my studies.

After some time, my family came to live in Amarante also, so I returned to live with the family. Then when my older sister went to live with my grandparents, my responsibility grew; my parents continued to work on the farm, so I took care of my brothers and sisters, and continue my studies.

I never thought I would become a sister. I loved to play around. I was a little stinker, and my mother always called my attention to it so that I might change my ways.

My parents always worked on the farm, and when they came home every night they were very tired. They did not always participate in church activities, but they would go to church when they could! They were always good examples for us as being honest, simple, united and generous.

The Sisters of St. Joseph always visited our house. They had been present to us in the rural area also, and in Amarante I spent time with them. With the consistent presence of the sisters in our community, I began to help in pastoral services. I lived and worked closely with the sisters, and  went with them throughout the area. I began to like it, and one day one of the sisters invited me to join their vocation group.

So, Feb. 11, 1987, the sisters accepted me into the postulancy in Amarante. During this year I lived with the sisters. It was a challenge, but with God´s grace and the help of the sisters, I was received into the congregation as a novice on Jan. 25, 1989.

In 2000 I made final vows in Amarante, where I was born — a tremendous gift.

I was blessed in a special way in June 2008 when our congregation celebrated its 125th anniversary.  Seven other sisters and I went to meet our sisters in the United States, and to see the Motherhouse so well studied and loved. We shared our cultures in liturgy, in Assembly and in the kitchen!

Besides these joys, we shared with the families of our Sisters Donna Otter and Pat Neihouse (two American sisters serving in Brazil). We cannot forget the hospitality of Sister Shirley Meier´s family, who received us when we arrived and saw us off when we left for home.

Religious life is a precious gift of God. He calls us initially and we chose to follow him. I want to thank God in a special way because he chose me to be a Sister of St. Joseph. I thank the sisters, my family, my friends and all of the people I have met during these wonderful years. May God be Praised.

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