Sister Rose-Marie providing one-on-one counselling.
Who would have thought, as I wrote that letter in 1966 to our General Superior responding to a request for volunteers (for five years) for the foreign missions, that I would be sitting here in Peru answering a request for reflections on these fifty years?
Looking at the process of preparation, arriving and all that followed, I am filled with gratitude to God in His Providence and to each and every one who made it possible and enjoyable in Canada, Puerto Rico, Guatemala (1967-1969) and Peru ever since:
To Vatican II which has guided our way.
To all the people we have met, for their generosity, patience and understanding. We came to serve God in His people especially those most in need and we found them doing everything possible to serve us in the early years especially, but even now. The patience they showed when Spanish was new to us; throughout the years the efforts to help us understand the culture we were entering and the people. There were offers of courses, study days, visits, etc. on the part of bishops, priests, professionals to reflect together on the changing realities and ways to respond. Especially important was the new relationship with the understanding of Jesus and his option for the poorest.
To the Vincentian family – Congregation of the Mission, Daughters of Charity, lay organizations and the many congregations and groups who share our charism and the name of Vincent – especially for their friendship and invitations to celebrations and study days.
For the example and lives of so many martyrs.
For our Sisters who are so supportive of us and our work and so welcoming on our home visits.
For our Associates, especially the Peruvians who are friends and partners in the adventure to follow Jesus as we continue to learn to understand Him in the Gospels and in those He loves: the poorest.
In gratitude and hope, Sara and I continue on the journey with confidence in He who guides us.