Chosen and Loved Called and Vowed

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To be a disciple of Jesus is to be loved by him, a disciple is chosen and to be chosen to love. 

I am Sr. Juthika Tudu from Ghargram, west part of the West Bengal in India. We are seven sisters and three brothers. My father had passed away in 2008 but my mother is still alive and living in the village with the family. I am the fourth among all my siblings in my family. I am happy to be born in a big family. Being in a large family taught me how to live with poverty, obedience, sharing and understanding, guidelines for my life journey. I had grown up in a very rural village, and finished my schooling from there

itself. At present that area has developed a lot. From my childhood onwards I was introduced by my parents in the Christian faith, coming to know religious, priests and their missions. When I finished my studies I decided to join a religious congregation and I started looking for that, but I was not attracted by any congregation. So I joined the Jesuit’s school at “Chamrusai Premanonda Ashram School Hostel” as a teacher. There most of the students were very young, and coming from poor background. I worked there for five years and I was very happy and satisfied with them. Though I was happy, sometimes I felt that I was missing something. I shared this emptiness with one of the Jesuit priests who was the superior of that community. Later, he introduced to me to the Helpers’. Then I decided to join them.

 I was warmly welcomed by the sisters who made me feel at home. During my Formation period I got opportunities to develop my skills to help out the needy. I was going to the leprosy center and to visit other patients as well.  This experience oriented my vocation to be a “Health worker”. Now I am qualified with Alternative Medicine and Reflexology. I am helping out the people who are in great need when no one is there to help them, especially those who don’t know where to go for their treatment. Through my presence I make them feeling that God is love. At present I am going to some villages, and especially to the brick fields to conduct Health awareness, Ecology and Herbal Medicine programs. In our community I have opened a small clinic where I receive patients for Reflexology and Herbal treatment. I am very happy with my mission and I feel I am loved one. I like to see God in all things that I do, though sometimes it might be difficult. For all these things I trust in God who gives me strength to do good for others. Through this way I would like to be faithful in my vocation till the end of my life as a Helper.   

  

                                                                                                                    By Sr. Juthika Tudu S. A

Vocation story

I am youngest of the three siblings of the family. I come from the north part of West Bengal, India. From childhood I had the deep desire to do something for God who has done great things for me and for my family. He has given me new life to live. I have received graces upon graces from God. Very often I used to think “What can I do for God who is so merciful and is protecting me?”. Soon after my father left us for the heavenly kingdom I was affected by polio. But I was not alone. Every moment of my life He helped me to find shelter and to live new life as a person. God has shown His mercy through his people who helped me. 

Once I met one of the Helper novices who had come for an experience in the hostel where I was studying. Then I came to study in the Helpers’ Study House (Barasat) in 2001. I was impressed by the sisters' way of living. In the Study House I learned sharing, freedom to express myself, discovering new talents etc. After completing my studies in the Study House I joined  Helpers. Then after 3 years of formation I made the first profession in 2006. Soon after the first vows I was in Kolkata community for higher studies. After achieving B. Com. I was sent to Bolpur Study

House to be with girls who are most in need. After one year in Bolpur, I was asked to go to Barasat Study House. I lived there and took care of the aspirants who desire to become Helpers. In 2017 I shifted to Bolpur community, doing LL.B studies at Burdwan University. 

For me to be a Helper means to be a woman of hope for others. Each moment of my life I discover that every little thing I do in the community has its meaning. By living with young girls at the age of 16-18 helps me to do something for them so that they can become mature persons. 

After my Law study, I am longing to become a voice for the voiceless and fight for the justice of the people who are treated unjustly. 

I am grateful to the Helpers for giving me the opportunities to live my life as a free woman and to serve others who are on the way of growing, of purification and become free.  

Sr. Lucy S. A

“Discovering Oneself”

Whenever I think of my vocation, many experiences come to my mind, thoughts and stories, which gradually made me discover myself as a Helper. It took long years to realize what actually I was looking for. This journey to insert myself as a member of the Congregation was not easy for me, being a village girl.I am Sr. Kakali Majhi. My native place (called Rakhoskhali) is an island situated at the coast of the Bay of Bengal, in the district of South 24 Parganas in West Bengal. We are altogether four siblings and I am the youngest in the family.

I came to know Helpers through my Parish Priest. First, I came to the Study House as a HS student in the year 2005. There, what fascinated a lot and inspired me was the simple life style of the sisters. There was no distinction between students and the sisters. We did everything together - praying, cooking, gardening and cleaning, hand in hand. After completing my two years of HS studies, I decided to join the Congregation and so I began my journey as a “Come and See” on 20thJuly 2007. 

Before I joined the Helpers, I could never imagine that the parents are invited to have a meal at the same table of the sisters. It was my biggest surprise to see how my parents and relatives were called to eat with us when they visited me. At that stage, I did not know much about our Foundress and her legacy “to help in all manner of good”, but I could feel the love and respect towards our parents, as well as to the people who came to visit us. 

 

“This act of respect and of recognizing persons as they are, attracted me to be a Helper”

 

Sr. Kakali S.A

A PROPHETIC VOICE

Have you ever heard a prophetic voice? I heard it as a child. I just had begun my schooling. During first holidays at home, one evening after finishing our evening rosary, my eldest sister - like a prophet - announced: “I wish my youngest brother and sister become a religious and a priest”. That got hold in me. During my studies, this voice was buried. Having finished School final examination, I tested God: “If I pass, I will understand you call me for your work.” Well, I passed - and I felt caught.

Having grown up in a Jesuit Parish I loved St. Ignatius, I wanted to be a Jesuit. But as a woman…? In the Study-House I met Helpers. They follow Ignatian spirituality. They were fully living with us girls, forgiving our small mistakes, even big ones. It was an experience of God’s mercy, of total acceptance as who we

were, a concrete experience of God in human form. My heart leaped for joy. I knew this is what I too wanted to be, especially to girls and women. 

This mercy of God and His total acceptance is still with me wherever I am.

Sr. Luisa Kujur

My vocation story

I would like to share with you a small story about a woodpecker bird. 

One evening I was sitting on the terrace. Just I was enjoying the sunset. I noticed a woodpecker bird coming near by a tree and sitting on one of its branches. The bird started to make a hole on that particular branch, in which I too kept my eye fixed for some time, because that particular branch was looking a bit strange for me. It was a tall branch. It looked half-alive and half-dead: it had one part full of leaves and in the other part no more leaves were found, it was dry. It was a big tree. When the bird sat on that branch and started its work to make hole, it took time, worked a bit and went away. After a while, the bird came back in the same place and stated making the hole again. Again, after a while the bird went away. I thought the bird would not return any more, but it came back and made a nest on that particular branch. I was just observing all these movements. These small events

reminded me about myself, and how I took time to choose Helpers, remaining until now. 

Becoming a Helper was for me as for the bird of the story which I narrated. The huge tree represents the whole Helpers’ society. The branch is our Indian Helper Group. The little bird is me. As that bird was looking for a suitable branch to make a nest, likewise, I came to Helpers and took time to listen to God’s call. I was not knowing much about our Society. I took time for it. In the same time, I started to know God, and deepened my relationship with Jesus, discovering HIS love for me.  

Sr. Sasmita S.A

HIS CALL AND MY ANSWER

I am sr. Anjana Tirkey, belonging to Rourkela Diocese and Kusumdegi parish. I came to know the Helpers through a vocation camp. After completing my 10th standard class, I came to the camp for three days, and on the last day, the sisters of different congregations were meeting the girls, including me. There I met the Helper Sisters and I liked the way they spoke to me, as I was one of their family member. I felt that they were not strangers to me, and at once, I gave them my home address and phone number. 

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My childhood prayer to God was especially for the most forgotten and abandoned – “May our Merciful God be accompanying them and help them in all their needs”. From then onwards I had the desire to be with these marginalized people, to serve them with love.

 

When I came to the Helpers, my wish to help the poor started deepening within myself. I discovered it as a Novice, especially during my thirty days’ retreat. The journey with the Lord made me clearly realize that seed which was planted in my heart to serve His people. I was confirmed and understood by his love through the spiritual exercises, that He had called me to work in his vineyard

I was touched by the sentence in our Constitutions “To help in all manner of good”: we, the Helpers, are called to live this with love, accepting its challenges. I firmly believe that it was God’s special invitation to me to join the Helpers. It took years for me to discover his will for me. I am grateful for his call, through which I am accepted to give myself with my capabilities and limitations.

 

       I am happy to serve my neediest brothers and sisters through my apostolic services. I am always encouraged by my sisters and the community members to persevere in my mission. I trust in God’s love and rely on His grace that He will always be accompanying me to fulfil the mission entrusted to me. My relationship with Christ helps me to serve the most forgotten.

 

Sr. Anjana Tirkey sa

Discovering the meaning of life

My name is Manila Tirkey. I did my studies in a Convent School in Jharkhand. Whenever I was meeting sisters, it gave me joy. Often I thought to become a nun, but I was not sure whom to contact. One day, when I was studying in class VIII, one of our sisters asked me what I would like to do when I would be grown up. I told her “If I will complete my studies, then I will go to join a Congregation”. After completing class-XII, I told my father that I wanted to become sister. In the beginning, my father did not agree, but later on, he gave his consent. So, my father told my cousin about my desire, and my cousin brought me to a convent. I stayed 5 months in that convent, but my heart was not in peace.

I came to know the Helpers from their very Novices who used to come for social work in the convent where I was. I left those sisters, then, and went back home to discern whether I should join Helpers. I was impressed by the attitude of the Helpers’ Novices. Finally, I contacted Sr. Hemma Muschick and came to Helpers’ Formation House in Barasat.

Now after many years of being a Helper, I realize that God has blessed me with his abundant love. I am happy and glad to help people whom I come across. Whenever I go to the parish and meet people, I use to visit them at their homes and listen to them, trying to help them with my prayer to come closer to God.

 

Sr. Manila Tirkey SA

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Following the footsteps of Christ

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nation”.(Jeremiah 1.1)

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First of all, I thank the Lord for the gift of my life and my vocation and also for his blessing and graces, which I have received throughout these years until now.  I am grateful to God for He has chosen me to work on His vineyard in the Helpers’ way.

Looking at my Vocation, I can say that God has chosen me, when I was in the womb of my mother; I never thought that I could become a nun. Yes, there were some feelings to become a sister, only after I had watched a movie about the life of Jesus.

I think my vocation is God’s plan. I was fully “blind”. I did not have any prior knowledge of congregations, charisms and activities, but I wanted to join with the intention of becoming a true servant of the Lord. I just contacted my cousin sister who have had joined the Helpers, and I came to West Bengal with her.

Of the Helpers, I like their living style and their family spirit, which I found among the sisters since my beginning in Barasat Formation House. Especially I like the charism, mottos, and spiritual life.

During these years of my religious life, I discovered and experienced that God is loving, kind and merciful. His Love is everlasting. It gives me inner freedom to live my life joyfully, and this is what gives me more strength and courage” to go from the depths of Purgatory to the ends of the earth” – as our Foundress said – to share His Love with His people.

 

Sr. Rajni Lakra SA

WALKING TOWARDS A GREEN MEADOW

I am Sr. Sushmita Majhi, coming from a village in the state of Odisha. Since my childhood, I had the desire to become a nun, but I did not know what Congregation was. Almost my entire family is non-Christian; only my younger sister and I were baptized. I was separated from my parents from childhood because of some particular reasons, and I grew up with my grandparents and anti, who are catholic.

I did my studies in a Convent School until class 7.  Often I used to see the small kids coming by vehicle, with colorful design dresses, and the sisters cared for them. I was touched by the attitude of the sisters’ love, care and concern for the children. I strongly felt the desire to become like them.

Once, in a “Moral Class”, a sister asked us, who would like to become a nun-like me? I raised my hand at once but I did not realize why. After completing class X, I did not have the opportunity to join any vocation camp, because my parents were not Christian, whereas my batch mates coming from Catholic families took part in a camp and went to those sisters’ convent for their formation. I broke down completely and felt that God did not want me.

This thought left me when I met Sr. Nimanti, one of my relatives, who had joined the Helpers. She helped me to contact the sister in charge directly, and I received a positive answer. The Helpers well accepted me to Barasat Formation house, although they were aware that my parents were not Christian. This attitude of acceptance gave me the self-identity I needed and integrated me into the Congregation.

As I began to live with the sisters, I slowly inserted myself into daily life. I started learning how to pray and how to share my life with other members of the community.

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I am Sr. Sushmita Majhi, coming from a village in the state of Odisha. Since my childhood, I had the desire to become a nun, but I did not know what Congregation was. Almost my entire family is non-Christian; only my younger sister and I were baptized. I was separated from my parents from childhood because of some particular reasons, and I grew up with my grandparents and anti, who are catholic.

I did my studies in a Convent School until class 7.  Often I used to see the small kids coming by vehicle, with colorful design dresses, and the sisters cared for them. I was touched by the attitude of the sisters’ love, care and concern for the children. I strongly felt the desire to become like them.