Love for the children and youth entrusted to them, and commitment in educating and instructing them according to the established rules, form the true character of the Sister of Our Lady of Sorrows. (E. RenziRule 7)

Elisabetta Renzi, our Foundress, clearly stated the importance of forming one’s character in loving the children and educating them.  That is what each Sister of Our Lady of Sorrows is committed to and challenged in the daily ministry entrusted to her.  For this reason, the OLS Novices in Louisiana began their second year of Novitiate being involved in hands-on training in the various ministries of the Congregation.  Although most of the educational activities in Louisiana were not available in the summer due to vacation for the schools, the Novices had significant experience in educational ministries

Their first experience included teaching and helping at the Vacation Bible School programs with St. John’s Cathedral in Shreveport and St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Mansfield.  Afterward, they were assigned to different communities.  For the first time in the Novitiate programs in Louisiana, two of the Novices were sent to Mexico.  Nicole joined the community in Obregon, helping the Sisters in their pastoral and youth group activities until the end of June.  When the sisters closed the community to go to Guadalajara for their annual retreat and home visit, Nicole returned to Alexandria, Louisiana to help with VBS at Cabrini and at the OLS Community Homes.

Lisa was sent to the new community in Nogales, Mexico to help with the girls of the orphanage.  Although the language was challenging since Lisa does not know much Spanish, the Sisters were very welcoming, and the work was very rewarding.

Hira and Liza were sent to the community in Las Cruces, New Mexico where they were involved in the summer school program.  This activity is not organized by our Sisters, but it offered an experience of educational activity that enriched both of them and will be treasured by them as they will go back to their own country, Bangladesh.

It was good at the end of the two months to be together again.  Nicole traveled with Sr. AnnaMaria to Las Cruces, New Mexico to pick up Liza and Hira.  They then traveled to Nogales, Mexico not only to pick up Lisa, but also to become acquainted with our Mexican community there and to see the orphanage.

The Novices liked their summer experiences.  During this second year of formation, they are continuing the hands-on apostolic experiences by helping to teach Christian values at Elisabetta Renzi Child Development Center and a couple of art classes at the Renzi Education and Art Center in Shreveport

The challenges include helping them to know themselves better and to recognize their natural gifts and talents, as well as the areas they need to grow in order to have and develop the true character of a Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows.