These weeks spent in this vibrant Province of Central America and Cuba have been joyful and enriching ones and weeks for which I am very grateful.
I am in awe at the detailed preparation and welcome involving the whole Province, evident in the welcome from communities that awaited us in our rooms when we arrived, the welcome in our immersion communities and the daily care for our every need. We have lacked nothing !
The reports of each Province brought the Congregation to life for me and in these days when Pope Francis calls us to the ‘peripheries’, it is heartening to see so many of our sisters already there, totally given to those they serve.
The days of immersion allowed us to share in the ordinary daily life of the Province and witness the commitment of the sisters, especially those ‘officially retired’, to their mission. My joy was to be with the sisters of La Palmera in Nicaragua who, in spite of age and sometimes frailty, were so joyous and full of life. A part of my heart remains there !
The ‘jewel in the crown’ was the opportunity to visit San Salvador and the places where Blessed Oscar Romero lived, worked and died. The memories of the sisters of Romero, the six Jesuits priests and the countless others who have given their lives in the struggle for peace and social justice was inspirational and challenging. A lasting memory will be that of praying on the altar steps where Romero was assassinated and seeing the simple plaque stating that it was at this altar that he gave his life for his people. May the Lord grant us even a tiny bit of their commitment and courage as we, in our own small sphere, continue the fight for justice and peace in our world.
Sr. Patricia Mitchell, RA
Provincial of England