XXVIII World Day for Consecrated Life: Testimonies of Adorers Emilia and Maria Reina

XXVIII World Day for Consecrated Life: Testimonies of Adorers Emilia and Maria Reina

Every February 2, the Church celebrates the World Day for Consecrated Life and, to commemorate this day, we Adorers offer the testimony of two of our sisters: Emilia and Maria Reina.

This year 2024 the theme of the XXVIII World Day for Consecrated Life is “Here I am, Lord, Thy will be done”. In the living out of their vocation as Adorers, of the charism of Adoration and Liberation, Emilia and Maria Reina embody this “Here I am, Lord, Thy will be done” and continue to be grateful for the path of self-giving undertaken and travelled until now and for eternity.

Sr. Emilia

Sister Emilia has been in the Congregation of the Adorers for almost 73 years. On February 19, she will be 95 years old and lives in Bilbao, Spain, in one of the nursing homes that the Adorers have for the care of our elderly.

When asked about the origins of her vocation to the consecrated life, Emilia herself tells us that her mother “had a cousin who was a priest who celebrated Mass every day in the convent chapel of Adorers and through him I went to the College” of the Adorers in Santander.

There, as a child, she was surprised and attracted “by the life of the sisters”. At school, with them, “I learned to love the Eucharist, they often gave us talks and took us to visit the Lord in the Sanctuary”, she explains.

Over the years, the seed of this love for the Eucharist grew in Emilia: “When I walked down the street with my friends, I felt a great need to enter the chapel when I passed the school gate. That’s how the Lord was calling me to be with Him. I was about 15 years old when I felt that God was calling me to be an Adorer”.

Some time later, at the age of 22, she finally entered the Congregation of the Adorers, specifically on the 6th of January 1950, in Bilbao, accompanied by her father. The period of formation as a religious sister helped Emilia to get to know and deepen her knowledge of the Adorers’ charism, “the desire to give myself to the Adoration-Liberation mission grew in me; I felt a great need to help the most needy women.”.

After this time of formation, the Sister was assigned to live with the women of our mission in different communities in Spain: Oviedo, Logroño, Bilbao, Burgos, Miranda de Ebro, Santander, until she arrived at the House of Bilbao – Infirmary, where she currently resides.

In all these destinations, Emilia gave her life to the Adorers’ mission of accompanying and promoting the liberation of women in situations of prostitution, trafficking and other forms of violence. She describes that her relationship with them throughout her career “was always very patient, with love and affection, trying to give them a word to encourage and enlighten them on their journey, and helping them in any way she could. I have had a very good relationship with several of them who have reciprocated”.

“If I were born again, I would be an Adorer”

For Sister Emilia, consecrated life “is a reflection of God’s love in its unconditional dedication to the service of the brothers and sisters. It requires much love and sacrifice in a life of self-giving”.

From the wisdom that comes from a whole life dedicated to God and neighbor, Emilia advises people who are considering responding to the Lord’s call that “if they have discovered that God is calling them, they should trust in Him, believe in His Love that never fails, and say YES, that they want to follow Him”. For her, “it is a great gift to be called by God to live with Him and wherever He wants”.

Finally, she does not forget to emphasize: “I feel very happy in my life as an Adorer and, if I were born again, I would be an Adorer”.

Sr. Maria Reina

Maria Reina, 32, is a Sister Adorer Juniora and is in her 5th year of profession. Born in Atakpamé, Togo, she is currently part of the Cinkassé community in Togo.

In this Togolese house, the sisters work with young people who come from different villages to receive literacy classes taught by Sister Reina, to learn sewing and traditional cloth weaving, handicrafts and agriculture.

Maria Reina’s vocation to the consecrated life began at a very young age, when she was 10 years old. In her parish there were some sisters whose work with children who attracted her attention. Although at that time “I didn’t understand many things”, this Juniora Sister recounts that “I always said, when I grow up, I am also going to dedicate my life to consecrate myself like them”.

At that time “this dream of mine to be a religious was fixed, it was already very clear to me, and I particularly wanted to be a religious working in orphanages or in schools, with children”.

“I want to be an Adorer at the side of the young girls”

However, her first experience with the Adorers Sisters of Cinkassé in 2014, “changed my vision of consecrated life a little”. Having contact with the women of the House who come from the villages knowing practically nothing “radically changed my choice of life, I went from feeling called to opt for the children to opting for these young women”

Over the years, Sister Maria Reina has grown in her vocation as an Adorer and “to this day it is clear to me, I want to be an Adorer at the side of the young women, accompanying their processes of liberation”.

During his formation period she had the good fortune to visit different communities, such as the Provincial House of the Province of Europe-Africa to which she belongs and the Mother House, both in Madrid, Spain. Also, during her novitiate, she was in Santiago de los Caballeros (Dominican Republic), and in the communities of Barcelona Sants, Valencia and Orense (Spain). During her time as a Juniora, she lived in the community of Salamanca (Spain) and until now in the community of Cinkassé.

For Maria Reina, the Adorer charism of Adoration and Liberation, “is such a beautiful way of giving oneself to God and of actualising His Kingdom in our world today”. Sister is inspired by the words and legacy of St. Maria Micaela, our foundress, “to draw strength from the Blessed Sacrament”, “to drink from the source, to draw women from the Eucharist”. Her vocation is a way of “living always connected to God and His people”.

Within this Adorer charism, Maria Reina also values community life very highly and considers it essential because “I am convinced that only in this way can we really give ourselves with greater strength. Each one can go alone, but when we unite, when we unite our talents, our gifts, the mission will bear greater fruit”.

“God needs us so much to be able to lift up the human being”

To anyone with a vocational concern, Maria Reina encourages them to take the plunge “without fear”, because, “there is nothing greater than to give one’s life as a gift to God and freely, truly, to accept and bring Christ to others. It is precious to experience giving ourselves as a gift to God and how He works in us first for greater glory, to be His witnesses today”.

“God goes through our humble persons to be at the side of our neighbors, at the side of those who suffer, at the side of those who need support, at the side of those who need us, the Lord, to be able to grow, to rise up, to walk with dignity. God needs us so much to be able to lift up the human being! The Lord requests us to be able to lift up so many victims of trafficking, of all kinds of injustice, of hunger, of so much suffering present in our realities. Whoever has the dream of being a consecrated woman, let her not hesitate to let herself be led by a God so great, so sublime”, she concludes.


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