Sister Nida Fe Chavez
When I fell in love with God, I also fell in love with the people around me and all God’s creation.
My roots are in Manila, Philippines, where I grew up with my younger Sister and three brothers. Both my parents originated in Cuenca, Batangas, and it was there that I enjoyed school breaks with my grandparents, relatives and cousins who lived at the foot of a mountain.
I felt the call to become a Sister when I was in high school; my family offered neither opposition nor encouragement. But the desire to help my family was even stronger.
Life in Toronto
Back home I knew only a simple, happy life. Arriving in Toronto in 1988 I was surprised to find such an abundance of food, water and electricity. I wanted to share this luxury with my family and finally, in 1995, my joy was complete because the whole family was reunited here. I was very grateful to God for the blessings my family had received.
In 1997, days after returning from a cruise of the Greek Isles, I felt restless. Searching for the cause of this restlessness, I realized that my baptismal call was beckoning to me!
One evening at St. Martin de Porres Parish, I met Sister Mary Rose Marrin. I shared with her my long-ago desire — and one thing led to another. There followed evenings with the Sisters at Walmer Road, week-end retreats and spiritual direction. I had just moved in with the Sisters on Walmer when my mother suffered a stroke; in a short time, she died, I returned home. Back again, following a period of volunteering, I was ready to look at religious life once more.
I was received as a novice in January 2002 and went on to make first profession in 2004 and final profession in 2009. What I realized was that when I fell in love with God I also fell in love with the people around me and all God's creation.