This week has been one of beginning to transition home. Thoughts of my upcoming vow ceremony and moving are creeping in, while I try to remain grounded in the moments of now. We had some wonderful reflection/evaluation time with Hna. Maria Rubina here yesterday. She has already listed a few times that would be opportune for us to visit again. I think she might be almost as pleased with our visit as we are, if that is possible.
For me the best part of these two months has been getting to know our sisters. One of the sayings of the Sisters of St. Joseph is ¨We are one,¨a sentiment I have felt very strongly here in Peru. Despite the differences in language, culture, age, etc. there is that thread that somehow connects us, somehow makes every place we visit ¨home.¨ To be included in the prayer of our sisters when, at first, there was no way for us to give the contents of our hearts in that mutual sharing, was quite a gift. There are only two sisters in the whole vice-province that we have not met; one is on sabbatical in Chile and the other on vacation when we visited Tacna (there is a slight chance we may see her today). Without any formal teaching we have seen the customs, heard the history, been included in the traditions. I came with very little knowledge of what this time would hold, and leave knowing that I want to continue to learn that which I do not yet know, especially in terms of relationships with our sisters. There are, I think, eleven sisters in formation here, mostly in their twenties. It is the group of women with whom I will go into the future. How best to continue to get to know one another is just one question with which I leave. How to include our vice province of Japan in this communion is another. The strongest thing I leave here with is the awe I have for the unity of our sisters in Peru around Jesus´call in the Gospel, especially in relation to the poor. Day after day, prayer after prayer, sister after sister prays and lives that message in a very intentional way. I take that with me in a renewed way as I go.
While I will still be in Peru for a week, I´m not sure that I´ll have another chance to post anything on the computer. I´ve put a couple of pictures from the last week or so...
This first is a picture of our barbeque in Tacna. One thing I´ve noticed is that in almost every place we sit in round. It is an image I love. From left to right--me, Hnas. Gloria, Andrea, Zeida, Rosa, Florencia (a two month volunteer in Tacna), and Martha. It was quite a feast.
And this photo is of the procession we had here in Lima two days ago for the feast of Our Lady of Carmen. The tan building with the wooden slated garage is the center house here in Lima where we have been staying. Different homes and businesses in the neighborhood planned little prayers where the procession would stop. Our sisters were part of that. The streets were closed. It took twenty-four men to carry the image of Our Lady. Little children were raised up in front of the statue. People sang and clapped. These sorts of things happen all the time. As I type I can hear the band of one of the schools playing for the children who are dancing in another sector. How cars ever know how to get from one place to another with random streets shut down all the time I´ll never know. Thank goodness I never had to drive here!
Okay, off to finish packing. Most probably, so long from Peru.