Two Brazilian sisters profess final vows

Sisters Fortunata Gomes de Oliveira, left, and Alexsandra da Silva pose for photos before their vow ceremony Saturday.

In a very impressive ceremony on St. Joseph’s Day Saturday, Sisters Maria Alexsandra da Silva and Maria Fortunata Gomes de Oliveira  pronounced perpetual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

The parish of St Francis of Assisi in Picos, Brazil, has been a hub of activity preparing for this celebration.  Leadership was provided by  the sisters living in the parish, Sisters Nair de Sousa and Janira Lindoso Diniz. Sister Joseleide da Silva, who had lived in Picos these last few years and returned to help, and the family of Sister Alexsandra, who live in the parish, formed teams to coordinate the activity.

When the bus and vans arrived, the reception team received the guests and housed them with various families of friends and parishioners where they shared dinner and rested until the evening Mass.  A bus chartered from Teresina brought sisters, friends, pastor and parishioners from the parishes where Sister Alexsandra and other sisters live and work.  Friends from Graça Aranha, Maranhao, where Sister Fortunata lives and works, had arrived the day before and continued the journey to Picos  on the chartered bus as well as a sister and nephew of Sister Fortunata.  Religious from the Diocese of Picos as well as religious from São Domingos and São Luis- Maranhão were also present.

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In the evening, everyone gathered at the parish church where they were joined by Bishop José Plinio of Picos; Father Flavio, pastor of the parish; Father Tiago, Redemptorist , representing the São José Operáio Parish where the Sisters of St. Joseph have their regional house in Teresina; and Father Antonio Barbosa, pastor of the Parish of Planalto Uraguai where the sisters have their initial formation house in Teresina.

The ceremony began with Sister Luciene Maria de Carvalho, commentator for the ceremony,  inviting all to participate in the singing of the hymn to St. Joseph while  the sisters  paid homage to their patron.  The sisters formed a guard of honor in the center aisle of the church where the postulants and aspirant of the congregation  entered carrying  a statue of St. Joseph.  Sisters Alexsandra, Fortunata and Donna Otter followed the youth and after receiving the image from them and presenting it to the assembly  placed it on its place of honor for the ceremony.

Youth from the St. Francis Parish led the music and all joyfully accompanied the singing.  Bishop Plinio spoke vividly of  St. Joseph´s life during his homily and challenged us to “sleep” as St. Joseph did before acting.  In other words, he spoke of the necessity of discernment in order to make wholesome decisions for the good of all.  Joseph at first thought only of himself but after thinking and listening, he took into consideration his loved one and the child she bore.

After pronouncing their final vows, Sisters Alexsandra and Fortunata received, with a renewed blessing, the symbols of the congregation, the ring and crucifix, from Sister Donna, the Mission Coordinator.

After the Eucharistic celebration, all were invited share supper. To God we give the glory, and to all we thank for making this day so memorable.

6 thoughts on “Two Brazilian sisters profess final vows

  • March 26, 2011 at 8:28 am

    Congratulations, Alexsandra and Fortunata, on your life commitment as a Sister of St. Joseph of Concordia. It was so good to share in your celebration, via the pictures. It was a day of great festivities and rejoicing, and we rejoice with you and our community there.

  • March 25, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Congratulations, Irmas.
    The celebration of yiour vows on March 19 will be a day of happy memory.I lI loved the pictures and description of the celebration. The happiness and
    all that went into the preparation and attendance show the unioning love of
    your mission May God bless you, yuour families and the Mission of the
    Sisters of St. Joseph of Teresina. I am happy with you.
    Sister Mary Esther

  • March 24, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    Congratulations to you, Alexsandra and Fortunata! Wow, what a great celebration. I am so happy for you, the community, and God. Please know you are carried in prayer. I think of your community with great affection.
    God bless you. Missy

  • March 24, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Congratulations, Irma Fortunata and Irma Alexsandra on the reception of your final vows. I know that it was a beautiful day for both of you. The pictures that you share are beautiful and I know that the celebration with all your Irmas was very eventful. I am sorry that none of us could be there to celebrate with you but with the pictures that were sent to us, we can share in your big day. It was nice to have it in your home parish, Irma Alexsandra.
    Hello to Sisters Donna, Pat and all our Irmas in Brasil. Our prayers are always with you.
    Love, Sister Francis Margaret

  • March 22, 2011 at 8:54 am

    Congratulations Alexsandra and Fortunata and welcome to the Sisters of St. Joseph for the rest of your life. I am delighted to visit the photos taken on March 19th at your ceremony! I wish I could have joined you!

  • March 21, 2011 at 11:49 am

    CONGRATULATIONS to the two young women on their profession of vows and to the community of the Sisters of St. Joseph!

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