Sister Divinia Pedro Makes Her Final Profession
God calls each and every one of us — our loving is our response.
"The first time I entered the doors of Morrow Park, I knew I had found my home away from home," said Sister Divinia Pedro of taking a retreat there in 1990. "Home is where love is." It has been quite a journey.
"God calls each and every one of us. Our loving is our response. For me, becoming a Sisters of St. Joseph is where I could love the most," she says.
Discernment and Candidacy
When Divinia was a young woman growing up in the Philippines, she first felt attracted to religious life. It was when she was a member of the Associates of the Sisters of St. Joseph and under the guidance of her spiritual director, Sr. Grace Sauvé, that she became aware of "something deeper calling her." She wrote to and met with vocation director Sister Pat Boucher. She lived with the sisters and Sr. Pat Boucher accompanied her for a 20-month period of discernment as a candidate where she explored the idea of joining the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto. Time and time again, the Sisters' hospitality, caring and love reached out to her during good and difficult moments of her life.
"In the ordinariness of life, God calls," is how Sister Divinia explains her journey. With a strong belief that God is calling her to religious life and ready to live community life in the service of God and the dear neighbour, she asked and was received into the Novitiate on Sept. 8, 2004. As a novice, Sr. Divinia was guided and accompanied by her novice director, Sr. Mary Lou Harris, in studies and training to know and understand consecrated life, the history, life, spirit and mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto. Integrated into the life of the community, her relationship with God, with the Sisters and with those she served deepened.
Ready to respond to an even deeper call to follow Christ and to share in the life and mission of Jesus as a vowed member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto, Sister Divinia made her first profession of the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience on Sept. 7, 2006. The Sisters present promised to support and encourage her in her journey.
Sister Divinia sees herself in the image of the dancer who trusts fully on her partner. "I trust, I have faith: God holds my hand. God is my partner in the dance."
On Oct. 7, 2010, Congregation Leader Sr. Thérèse Meunier received Sr. Divinia's final profession of the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience at the Sisters of St. Joseph's Morrow Park chapel. The chapel was filled with Sisters, Associates, family and friends as Sister Divinia, dressed in a barong Tagalog, the embroidered formal garment worn for weddings and formal attire by Filipino women and men, made her final profession.
She said: "In living our charism of unifying and inclusive love as a first professed member of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto, I deepened my personal relationship with God and became more aware of the loving presence of God in creation and in the ordinariness of my life, in good and difficult times — in my studies, in the places I have been, in the ministries I engaged in, with the people I met along the way and all of you who have journeyed with me this far — our sisters and associates in our community, my family, my friends, my mentors.
"In the spirit of our founder, Fr. Jean Pierre-Médaille, I want to unite my life with Jesus and with the women who have been, who are, and will be Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto. In faith and with trust, I now freely desire to respond to God's unconditional love for me and God's call to full membership in the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto through my profession of the final vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, desiring to always be attentive to the Holy Spirit in loving and serving my dear neighbour, in their poverty and in my own."
Shortly after, she returned to British Columbia's Fort St. James to continue her ministry there.