Become a sister of Notre-Dame

by Arlène dos Santos Silva

I am Arlène; I have been a Sister of the Congrégation Notre-Dame for 26 years.

I am very happy to be part of this family that I have chosen to live my baptized vocation!

 I lived most of my religious life in Juazeiro - a small town in northeastern Brazil - in one of the poorest areas of the city. This place was chosen by the CND sisters because it is abandoned by politicians, many children do not have access to school and families do not have the means to lead a decent life.
 Despite the poverty, we feel in this place a contagious joy! Solidarity between the inhabitants challenges us and encourages us to share our BEING and what we have.
 My mission is to be with the people and "be part of this people". We have created a nursery school, which welcomes 200 children each year. In addition to this formal education mission, we offer activities for children and young people so that they can develop in all dimensions of their personality: intellectually, physically, emotionally, religiously ... (music, theater, arts, dance, tutoring, reading, popular library). Two groups of children and adolescents come twice a week to pray with the sisters in the small chapel.

 I would like to say a message to you young people: take advantage of all the chances that life offers you! Live in the present and be creative to build a just, united and happy world! Take care of nature and the future of the planet!

 What you do, do it with love and you will see that happiness is a consequence of these acts of love!

 One request: do not let communication and virtual meetings take the place of real meetings with people !!!

The virtual is important, but cannot steal the place of the embrace, the sincere smile and the hands which touch each other and offer real flowers !!!