Sister in the Spotlight: Sr. Daniela, CP

Sr. Daniela with Sr. Mary Elizabeth at our monastery in Whitesville

Sr. Daniela with Sr. Mary Elizabeth at our monastery in Whitesville

Perhaps you’ve noticed an unfamiliar nun in some of our pictures over the past few months. Sr. Daniela from Sao Paolo Brazil has been with us for about 5 months, learning English, sharing in our community life, and working closely with Mother Catherine Marie on matters of the new Monastic Congregation. She’ll head back home to Brazil at the start of October, then off to Tarquinia, Italy in January to be with Mother Catherine Marie, but before she leaves Whitesville, we wanted to share a little more about our dear sister Passionist! It has been a joy to have her among us - how true it is that despite our diverse cultures, we are united in our precious charism. Sr. Daniela found a little time between her work for the Congregation and her intensive English studies to answer some questions about her experiences here, at home, and in Tarquinia, our protomonastery.

You can also visit her community’s website here.

  • What is the name of your monastery and where is it located?
    Saint Gema Monastery, in São Paulo (Osasco/Cotia)

  • How many nuns belong to your community?
    We are currently 12 nuns.

  • What do you like most about the Passionist Charism?
    The centrality of the Paschal Mystery. Living in the “light” of the Passion of Jesus all my exterior and interior acts, standing at the foot of the Cross with Mary, collecting the Precious Blood of Jesus to pour over all mankind, making my life an offering to Him.

  • What are some of the things that you do as a member of the General Council of the Congregation?
    According to our Statutes #20, It is the role of the councilors to assist the President in her service of communion to the Congregation.

    It is a new time for the lives of our monasteries and each of us. The time of God's grace, for we are listening to the voice of the Lord who speaks to us through the Holy Church according to the new guidelines for contemplative life. The time when the “tree” needs to be pruned, cared for to produce many fruits! This is my hope!

  • You spent some time in our first monastery, Tarquinia. How long were you there and what did you do while you were there?
    I was there for a year and the main goal was training. To live in the cradle of our Congregation, to deepen our study of our history and spirituality and to learn Italian. It was a very special time in my life: where I could live in the same place as our Co-founder, Venerable Mother Maria Crocifissa and our first sisters, know the places where our Holy Father, St. Paul of the Cross, and so many other saints who have lived our spirituality, lived and spent time! I am very grateful to my community and the community of Tarquinia for this experience.

    In addition, I had the grace to study a year of "Spiritual Accompaniment" at Regina Apostolorum University offered by Mother Fernanda Barbiero and the Consecrated Life Department, which is very useful for my spiritual life and also for my community.

  • What has surprised you during your time in the United States?
    To know another side of the United States that does not appear in newspapers abroad: the great piety and religiosity of the people, the large families and above all the grace of so many young vocations and many congregations and monasteries!

  • What are some of the similarities between this monastery and your home monastery?
    The monastic routine that I believe is similar in all our monasteries.

  • What is your favorite memory from your time living with us in this monastery?
    I have a huge list ...

    The welcome from the monastery community and also from the outside community, that is, from the Oblates and friends of the monastery who helped me so much in the purpose of learning English.

    Fraternal life, the profound experience of God in silence, solitude and prayer.

    The inner beauty that exists in each of the Sisters and also the exterior of the Monastery, especially the exterior that allows a greater contact with nature, with creation.

    The beautiful singing, especially the sound of the violin.

    Peanut butter and other delights of American cuisine!