[Province of Curitiba, Brazil] The province’s Vocation Promotion Ministry initiated: “Promote vocations from our Vincentian heritage to better serve the poor,” with the aim of recovering the vocational zeal, joy and fidelity of our consecration for the revival of a new missionary enthusiasm.
Each region in the province received an image of St. Catherine Laboure that traveled to the local communities. The Sisters of the Community of Santa Luiza Vicentian School, located in Porecatu in the State of Parana, Brazil, shared the work.
When we proposed the project, “Promote vocations …” the Holy Spirit favoured us. We could honor Mary with the coronation. We brought our dream to life in the five chapels of our city, focusing our efforts toward the outskirts. We enthroned the Image at the Cathedral, presented the story of St. Catherine Laboure and distributed the Miraculous Medal.
Communities in every chapel welcomed us with open arms Students performed the coronation ceremony in the presence of parents and the community. During recitation of the Rosary we reflected on the life of St. Catherine Laboure, recounting the visit of Mary to Sister Catherine. In each chapel students dramatized the aparitions, stirring affection for the Virgin Mary.
We finished by talking of consecrated life and we did the coronation solemnly. The children danced with confidence, filled with messages of the maternal love of Mary. The small image of St. Catherine has become a symbol in the school and in the city. We emphasized the presence of her image in our house and everyone had the possibility to receive it at home, with the recitation of the Rosary and the visit of the Sisters.
The Porecatu community opened their homes to us. The families invited friends, relatives, prayer groups and everything turned into a great and precious encounter with small images of the apparitions that each Sister carried. The recitation of the rosary was done with great enthusiasm along with distributing many medals. We realized how great the devotion of the people of God is for the Virgin Mary.
In South Centennial, a nearby town (with students in our school) the parish patroness is Our Lady of Grace. A relic of St. Catherine Laboure was placed in the presbytery, we organized a Mass, coronation of Mary and recounted the story of St. Catherine Laboure. It was a beautiful Mass! Our students and teachers gave their best and passed on the message of the apparition of Our Lady and the Miraculous Medal.
In a school setting, St. Catherine was very near. The little 2nd year students pointed to the image and said to the fathers, “there is St. Catherine.”
Without a doubt these were days of hard work, but the joy we felt was greater. It strengthened our vocation, expanded our devotion and we became Daughters of Charity who were more committed to the spread of the Miraculous Medal.
Happily, we thank God for this gift and the opportunity to have lived these intense moments of faith and grace to learn to love these people and this city even more.
Sisters of the Vincentian School Santa Luiza
Porecatu – Parana – Brazil