Our date of departure for the Third Year from the Philippines was set.
We had our interviews in the French Embassy, late January and early February.
We were assured by the Consular Officer that there would be no problems
with our Visas. Sr. Sally was the first to receive her Visa and Sr. Marjo
and I were confident ours would follow soon. But March 12, the date of
departure was fast approaching and there was still no word from the French
Embassy. In the communities of San Lorenzo where the French Embassy was
expected to call when the Visas were ready, the use of the phone was discouraged
from 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm : just in case, the Embassy would call. March 12
came and NO VISA for the two of us. Sr. Sally went off to Paris by herself
to be in time for the Opening Session of the Third Year scheduled for
We inquired but the personnel in the French Embassy were helpless themselves
to assist us since our papers were with the Ministry in France and so
just like us all they could do was wait. Therefore, the caution about
using the telephones in San Lorenzo from 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm remained. Sr.
Marie Emmanuel and the rest of the Sisters in our communities and eventually
in the Province began praying with us. We were certain the General Community
and the Sisters in Auteuil and in the Third Year (especially Sr. Sally)
were praying for us, as well.
Finally, on the 24th, the eve of the Feast of the Annunciation, the telephone
rang at 3:45 pm to announce that my Visa would be ready the next day at
11:00 am. March 25, I left Assumption San Lorenzo at 10:15 am to walk
to the French Embassy. I arrived at the embassy half an hour later. When
I presented myself with my passport, the lady asked me, "Sister, where
is the other Sister ? Her Visa is ready as well." We both received our
Visas on the Feast of the Annunciation. A very significant Feast for both
of us - Sr. Marjo’s Mystery is the Incarnation, while my Mystery is Mary,
March 27, we finally departed from the Philippines and arrived in Paris
on March 28 ! What a WARM AND HEARTY WELCOME we received ! With Srs. Nicole,
Myriam and, of course ! Sally meeting us at the airport and being welcomed
at the Hall in Auteuil with warm hugs and kisses from all the Sisters.
It is good to be Home !
In a few days time, it will be a month since we arrived. There was not
much adjustment to be made since each and every Sister really made an
effort to make us feel at home. Immediately, I felt accepted and loved
by each of my sisters in the Third Year ; the General Council and the Sisters
of the Auteuil Community. This is the gift of Internationality - the differences
in background, in age, culture and personalities are overcome and surpassed
by the bond of our being Sisters, daughters of Marie Eugenie living our
religious life there where God has called us.
Indeed, it is a grace to be here ! Through the Sessions, our sharings
and praying together, we rediscover the blessings God has given us. More
than ever, I am grateful for my vocation to the Assumption. Indeed, we
are blessed because God has called us and chosen each one of us. We can
only continue to depend on His Fidelity and Love. And I cannot thank God
enough for the person of Marie Eugenie : my Mother, Sister and Friend !
Indeed, everything is Gift !
Sr. Giselle Therese, ra
25 April 2004