A community with other sisters and in the wider community of the church

My name is Neide, I am a psychologist, I am 30 years old and I want to be a nun! Yes, nuns still exist and yes, there are still people that want to become religious sisters! – Weird? no!

So, here is the answer to two of the most common questions asked by my friends and people I meet when I reveal this “IN-sane” plan for my life:

“What exactly is a nun?”

“What is it that you want to do?”

…followed by…

“How did you know you wanted to do that?”

I am a pre-novice with the Franciscans Missionary of Mary – so much of the answer is in the name! I want to belong to the Franciscan Family, meaning I want to live the Gospel values of Love for God and others in a very simple and detached way.

St Francis tells us that the best way to be able to Love God freely and totally is by freeing ourselves from the “things” that distract us. He speaks about lady poverty (one of the vows that hopefully I will make!). So I look forward to living a life that is rooted in God and in the beauty of all things created, and I want to be able to share this unique, all fulfilling Love with everyone.

Out in the world with the people

This brings me to the next word: Missionary! I have too much energy to be able to endure a life in an enclosed convent. I am called to live this amazing Love by being out in the world with the people!

I want to be a missionary which means I get to share with everyone I encounter this Jesus with whom I fell in Love, and I can do that working  in the nearest parish, or I can be sent to any part of the world, where I am needed. By making the vow of obedience, I am saying that I am free to go wherever, and to do whatever, to live out the Gospel!

No reservations

And F.M. of Mary… well our foundress calls Mary the “way within the way”. She is the role model…simple, humble. Mary said yes to God’s Love without reserve, even when faced with a very irrational and hard request “will you carry Jesus, my Son to the world?”.

Out of Love Mary says yes, and she completely surrenders herself and all her plans to God. And as Mary, I too am in-Love with this wonderful God, Jesus, my best friend! And I too want to surrender my All to him, because this is what we do when we are in-love, right? We surrender with no reservations! Here enters the vow of chastity…I surrender my Love to God entirely! And vow to Love Him in poverty and wealth, sickness and health for the rest of my life! – it is just like a wedding vow, and with the most amazing Man/God ever!

This, in religious life, is lived in community – in the community with other sisters, and in the wider community of the church, and in a wider community that is all of creation. We are all a big family!

An idea was planted

How did I end up here? In a nutshell, I used to be a rebel kid, I grew up in an amazing family, committed and very active in the church and understood from an early age that faith was something great that kept my parents and grandparents going no matter what happened! Faith was the fuel!

I was certainly not that holy! I was a terrible teenager! Cutting a long story short, something in me changed when I was about 15, I suddenly realized how empty the things I was trying to achieve were. …I felt “there has to be more to life than this, which makes me miserable”… at this point I was studying in a school with sisters, and it was the first time at the age of 15 that the idea was planted in my brain! And I fought against it, big time!!! So, I am 30 right…and have been running away from God since then until now…but the signs were ALWAYS there:

– great party life (empty) – being involved with youth in the parish (happy);

– being in a relationship (incomplete) – praying and meeting Jesus in the Eucharist (fulfilled and overflowing with Love);

– Having many things (pointless) – sharing what I have with others (Joy); and so on…

It took me 15 years to finally have the courage to tread the path that clearly gives me peace and joy…my vocation!

If any of this rings a bell, maybe…just maybe…look into it! Christ might be telling you that he also has something a bit ‘out of the box’ for you, and if I can do it, believe me, everyone can!


Franciscan Missionaries of Mary

Tel: 0044 7470 386805

www.fmm.org or www.fmmii.org

FMM email: fmmimesvoc@yahoo.co.uk

Neide’s email: neides.almeida@gmail.com

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