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Welcoming Giovana to the IHM Novitiate

On the evening of September 20, 2018, in the presence of IHM sisters gathered in Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel at the IHM Center and also connected via u-stream, Sister Ellen Maroney welcomed Giovana Fuentes Bendivez into the novitiate of the IHM Congregation.

During the simple ceremony, Giovana expressed a desire to deepen her relationship with the God who faithfully inspires, motivates and invites her to reach out to others. She asked for the opportunity to share life in community, grow in her knowledge of the history of the IHM Congregation and embrace more fully its charism, spirituality, core values and mission.

Sister Mary Elaine Anderson reflected on Giovana’s experiences as a candidate in both Sicuani, Peru, and Scranton, Pennsylvania. She attested to Giovana’s zest for life, her passion for serving the most vulnerable, her capacity to listen compassionately and to include each person, her joyful participation in community activities and her willingness to move out of her comfort zone to make herself understood in nonverbal and, sometimes humorous, ways.

Having heard Sister Mary Elaine’s affirmation of Giovana’s readiness to enter the novitiate, Sister Ellen asked the IHM Congregation and the formative community, in particular, if they were willing and ready to accompany Giovana as she enters more deeply into a contemplative experience, continues to explore her vocation to religious life and grounds herself in the IHM way of life. The sisters responded in resounding unison: “Giovana, we stand with you, we pray for you and we welcome you as our sister.”

GiovanaReception9-20-2018

L-R Sisters Ellen Maroney, president, Giovana Fuentes Bendivez, novice, and Mary Elaine Anderson, director of formation