On May 31, the feast of the Visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth and birth of St. Candida, with great joy we celebrated, in the Parish of the Immaculate Conception of Villa Ocampo, the Golden Jubilee of Dolores Castañeda fi.
We prepared this feast with a triduum of prayer on some aspects of the life of Mother Candida: joy and gratitude, a woman centered on Jesus Christ, disciple – missionary. On one of those days Dolores gave a vocational testimony in the parish and at the school “Virgen Niña”, as well as the media.
Msgr. Ángel José Macín, Bishop of the Diocese of Reconquista, presided at the Eucharist on the 31st, accompanied by the priests in the parish and by other priest friends. The phrases “Do whatever Jesus tells you” from the Gospel of John and “I want you to be happy” by St. Candida accompanied the liturgy. In the entrance procession, a layperson of our family and Rosario Marina fi, who came from La Plata, carried the picture of Mother Candida. A married couple brought some jars as in the wedding at Cana, followed by all the Sisters present — the community (Visi, Patricia, Celina and Dolores), Rosario Marina, Maria Luna and Rosario Azcune, who came from La Plata, Cordoba and Monterrico (Jujuy on behalf of the entire region).
A very significant and emotional moment was the entry of the Bible accompanied by a dance where the Word was given to the people, raising it while singing: “La Visitación”.
In the homily, affectionate words from the Bishop for the whole community and Dolores, evoking the feast of the Visitation and the celebration of 50 years of consecrated life: going out of …, dedication, service, joy, simplicity, proximity to all, attentive to the greatest needs like Mary … thanksgiving.
In the Offertory:
Collection in solidarity with those affected in their homes in the recent floods in the area.
A young girl, Virginia, celebrating her 15th birthday on that day, accompanied by her parents, offered to the Lord some flowers as a sign of her life and youth so that the Lord may bless and accompany her in her growth as a woman of faith.
Dolores, accompanied by Celina, postulant in the community, offered a wheat branch, symbolizing the sowing that the love of the Lord has poured into her in these 50 years of fidelity.
Relatives of the Daughters of Jesus — Gladys, Silvina’s mother and Polo, brother of Maria Dolores Fernandez, offered the bread and wine.
Following the tradition of the Daughters of Jesus, before Communion, with the sacred Host raised by the Bishop, Dolores renewed her vows before the community. A very emotional moment for everyone. All were united in Communion with the song “In Jesus we have everything”.
And at the end of the Eucharist, a word of thanks on this day: “First I want to give thanks for God’s faithfulness and mercy with me during these 50 years of consecration as a Daughter of Jesus.” Thank you, and I recall my beloved parents, my family where I learned to love, to pray and share, to be attentive to the needs of those around me. There was born my vocation. Thank you for my family. Thanks for this vocation of Daughter of Jesus, through the universalist and missionary spirit of St. Candida, and for my being sent to this country in 1968, 48 years ago, through the vow of availability. I was 25 years old then. Thank you for the families and friends with whom I have crossed paths.
Thanks for the congregation and for my community in which every day we make the journey of following Jesus in the service of our brothers.
Thanks because my heart is filled with names and I do not want to exclude anyone in this thanksgiving. Thank you for all who accompany me today, those who are present here as well as those who are with us in spirit. Thank you for this Eucharist. Thank you, thank you. Thank you”.
After the Eucharist we had a fraternal sharing in one of the parish halls with all the people who were with us. Atmosphere of joy and celebration. We were shown some videos with the presence and words of each of the communities; from Graciela, our Provincial; some religious of the Diocese, and the family of Dolores with words of affection and closeness. We had the Spanish dance as well. Surprise after surprise, and in them the love of the community who wanted that day to be a feast for everyone! With M. Cándida we say “Blessed be God who loves us so much”.
Community of Villa Ocampo