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The art of accompanying and being accompanied: responding to crossroads

Vocational Awakening

Our first profound experiences are foundational and significant for our lives. This was the case for me: I lived my first encounter with Wisdom in my childhood through the Daughters of Wisdom in Cerro de Pasco – Peru.

Through the testimony of the sisters Carmela Munaretto, Angela Marella, among others: their commitment to the service of the most needy, their defense of human rights and their struggle for justice, their accompaniment and tenderness for families; one of them was like my family. This was a founding experience that would not fade from my mind and heart throughout my life.

My family had to emigrate to another city because of family problems and we arrived in Huánuco – Peru. It was there that I contacted the sisters again, when I was studying at the University to become a midwife. When Wisdom calls you, she puts your heart in search! I had the certainty of being called. I accepted to make the vocational discernment during my third year of studies. The sisters with their wisdom advised me to finish my studies before making a decision.

That is why, at the end of my studies, I decided to start my experience in a community. I remember the phrase of Montfort that helped me to make a decision.  “If we do not risk something for God, we do nothing great for HIM”. I decided to make the experience in a community, then postulancy, novitiate, time of temporary vows and I pronounced my perpetual vows in our Congregation the Daughters of Wisdom. I thank all the sisters who accompanied me during my formation, who helped me to clarify my motivations and to respond with love, audacity, tenderness and apostolic zeal to the choice of life to which God invited me.

“Today, I work on behalf of women, in health care, in obstetric care, in a medical center networked with other congregations and in women’s empowerment projects.”

I am also involved in the accompaniment of young girls in vocational animation, and this is not easy in the reality of today’s youth. In the process of this mission I asked myself a question: “What is accompanying? “to be with the other, supporting him with love and respect in the encounter with himself, as a companion on the road, establishing deep and respectful relationships of dialogue, relationships of companionship that allow for mutual growth and sharing, without each one ceasing to be what he is”[1].

I am aware that accompanying and listening to the women in the consultations and to the young girls in their discernment means getting out of my own schemas and knowing how to listen, to understand often their difficult realities, their challenges and to help them have confidence in God and in themselves.

To each one of you I say: “Don’t be afraid to begin a journey to discern your vocation, God is calling you at the right time”.

Sr María Cristina Tucto Vilcañaupa fdls

[1] Cf. Ramirez, G and team. Personal and collective accompaniment. Saint Ignatius College of Medellin (2004)