Sister Marita Capili, age 45, is a novice who was born in the Philippines, lived in Guam and later moved to the United States. She currently lives with three other sisters at the novitiate in Spokane while taking two classes at Gonzaga University and volunteering at L’Arche.
My canonical year just ended and it deepened my prayer life, my relationship with God, my relationship with community, and my knowledge of the history of the Sisters of Providence religious community and the vows we profess. I am continuing theological study at Gonzaga University and Spanish language study, hoping to integrate all of that in my ministry.
One of the most life-giving experiences has been cooking at L’Arche every Friday for people of disability who open themselves to me and accept me. They love me and I love them. My ministry there is just to be with them. They greet me at the car and call me “my friend.” When I leave, they ask, “What are you cooking next week?” I never say no to their requests. If I don’t know how to make it, I will learn. No matter how it tastes, they will love it.
I also try to cook once a month at Women’s Hearth and I spend time at Mount St. Joseph with elderly and infirm Sisters of Providence once a week. I love to hear the stories of the sisters at The Mount. I share with them, help them organize their rooms and take them out. They always pray for me. One of the strengths I get is their prayers, blessings and inspiration. They are inspired that someone is following after them, like passing the baton, so it is inspiration for us both.
I feel I have grown up from my candidacy, in my relationship with God, with the community and with others. This canonical year has been a great experience that is hard to leave, but I’m ready.
The sisters have helped and allowed me explore to find my true self. Sister Margaret Botch, my novitiate director, sees me as I see myself, and knows my needs before I do. We share without any hesitation. I trust her and she trusts me.
Next is the apostolic year. I will continue learning the Spanish language and I deeply want the opportunity of a cross-cultural experience. I wait in quiet silence, knowing I will have an answer soon. Whatever comes, it is what is for me.
Looking back at how God is calling me, he always was right in front of me, but I couldn’t see. Then one day I could hear and respond. There have been challenges in my journey and will continue to be, but I am open to it because the challenges have brought so much growth. I can see now where I was being carried by God. It is a grace remembering that.
I am delighted to live with Sisters Margaret, Liz Gress, Myrta Iturriaga and Huong Nguyen in a house that is international, intercultural and intergenerational. We are adjusting to and learning from each other, always with love and respect.
This is a very generous community and I am thankful to each of our sisters. Because God loves me, I want to give back and love back by living in gratitude and service.