Chosen and Loved Called and Vowed
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
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
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