Your browser is not Javascript enable or you have turn it off. We recommend you to activate for better security reasonEntering The Pre-Novitiate

Home > News > Story

Entering The Pre-Novitiate

Frédérique Grégoire et Jeanne Odette

First Step

September 28, 2021, is one of the unforgettable dates in our vocation story. It is the day we left for the pre-novitiate. We (TONYE Frédérique Grégoire and NGO NGUIDJOL Jeanne Odette) were happy to set out in haste to answer the call of God that we had heard a few years earlier. Our hearts brimming with joy, we said goodbye to the sisters of the Yaoundé community and exchanged warm embraces. It was such a heartwarming moment.

September 30, 2021 – After travelling for two days, we had a better understanding of the meaning of a “journeying” life following in the footsteps of Marguerite Bourgeoys. Every time we thought we had finally arrived, we still had a bit further to go. So, we said to ourselves: “If Marguerite Bourgeoys was able to make a three-month voyage by ship, then we would survive until we reached our destination.” It was the first time we had ever travelled such a distance. This reflection gave us the courage to continue on. When we arrived in Tchéré, we thought the sisters would be sleeping. But to our great surprise, everyone was awake to welcome us despite the fact that it was 4:30 a.m. This showed us the great love, patience and solidarity of the community that was welcoming us. Then, the sisters of the community (Nancy Émilienne, Augustine and Jeannette) gave us until October 5 to settle in because we were tired. This period of rest gave us time to familiarize ourselves with our environment and to get to know the area around Saint-Marc de Tchéré-Tchakidjébé parish.

Second Step

From October 5 to 7, 2021 – Sister NGO NGOK Angèle facilitated a two-and-a-half-day retreat around the theme “Leave Everything to Follow Christ” and the story of the rich young man (Mt 19:16-22). This time of recollection allowed us to enter into ourselves and to prepare our hearts to live this important moment of the celebration of our entrance to the pre-novitiate. At the end of this heart-to-heart experience with God, and following the example of the rich young man, we asked the Lord to give us the grace of detachment from everything that encumbers us so that we may follow him.

October 7, 2021 – Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, the day when Marguerite Bourgeoys had a special and profound experience of receiving a “sign” from God. This is an important date for us not only because it recalls the conversion of our foundress, but it is also the day on which we took our first official steps in the Congrégation de Notre-Dame de Montréal. What a joy it was to begin our journey on this day!

“May our spirits rejoice in the Lord, for he has done great things for us, and holy is his name.

The long awaited moment had arrived! It was time to enter. We gave thanks to the Lord for this vocation that he gave us. We were very happy and we entered deeply into this time with the sisters of the pre-novitiate community. We immortalized this intense moment, full of emotions, with an entrance celebration during which we shared our prayer offerings and presented our symbols from our retreat which speak of our vocation.

Frédérique Grégoire: A glass of water is my symbol. To me it represents the source of life, purity, resilience in the face of hardship, and the depth of the Christian religion.

For me water symbolizes my new life. That is to say, my commitment on the road to religious life. It is a life rooted in Christ, dedicated to following him wherever he calls me, in the footsteps of Marguerite Bourgeoys, missionary of the Gospel beyond borders. I pray that, like the fluidity of this water, I may also be fluid in words and actions that bear good fruit. Just as this water is transparent, may I be a genuine person in all circumstances.

Jeanne Odette: A stone is a symbol of solidity. It symbolizes something lasting that has transcended time. I pray the Lord to solidify in me the love I have for God and the love I have for the Congrégation de Notre-Dame de Montréal. May he give me a new taste for the beauty of life in his footsteps. For me, the stone also symbolizes peace. A peace that is shared with those around me.

In the stone, there is also the notion of unity. This is how I feel united with God and his people. To maintain this flame, I will always have to draw from the source which is personal and community prayer. I give thanks to the Lord who calls me to his holy service in the Congrégation de Notre-Dame de Montréal.

In joy, we received from our teacher our candidacy pins: a distinctive sign of our belonging to the Congrégation de Notre-Dame de Montréal.

Sister NGO NGOK Angèle, Leader of Notre-Dame-des-Apôtres Region, then congratulated us on our commitment.

Applause erupted in the chapel. A few associates of the Congregation, our candidates and a few young people from the Saint-Marc de Tchéré-Tchakidjébé parish who were present let out African-style cries of joy. We then signed the Act of entrance to the pre-novitiate accompanied by our two respective witnesses: Sister NDZANA MBOUDI Émilienne Nancy and Sister MATCHUENDEM Augustine, both from the Tchéré community.

On October 8, 2021, we had our Mass of thanksgiving and entrusted the Lord with our journey. It was celebrated in community by Mgr Gilbert DAMBA, Vicar General of the Maroua-Mokolo Diocese. It was the first Mass we facilitated as candidates.

We give thanks to the Lord for all the wonders He is working in our lives. We thank the Congrégration de Notre-Dame de Montréal through the Council of Notre-Dame-des-Apôtres Region who welcomes us to live this new experience.

We also thank the sisters of the Tchéré community for their warm hospitality!

We would like to take this opportunity to entrust ourselves to your prayers and ensure you of ours.


Back to the news index All the news
© Tous droits réservés Congrégation de Notre-Dame, Montréal, Québec, Canada