...living, praying and working together
as Sisters of St. Joseph in the 21st Century
December 25, 2012
Merry Christmas from Peru. In typical fashion, the house has been cleaned, the turkey cooked, and the gifts opened. I was on book cleaning duty with Maritza, a once a year task. The gardens were tended, as it is summer here. The turkeys were carried down the street to a bakery to be cooked. We went to mass last night. I mostly hummed along as many of the tunes were the same but the words were different. After mass we returned for fruit salad (fresh mangoes, papayas, and canteloupe) and hot chocolate. Delicious. The fireworks hit their stride around midnight, but continued for many more hours.
This morning we went to mass together and came back for breakfast. We had a great time opening presents--prayer books, cards, and chocolate. I don´t know why everything is funnier here, but it is. I´m sure it has lots to do with the language and the facial expressions of the characters here. After breakfast we got right to work to prepare the big noon meal. We had turkey, stuffing, potatoes, salad...the usual, with, of course, little Peruvian flavors included. As you can see from the picture, there is a big group here, a number that will only increase as sisters return from visiting family and more sisters from the states arrive.
From left to right: Pina, Irene, Sonya, Maria Perla, Sarah
After a little time for cleaning up and rest, a few of us walked through the park and a little market to browse the wares. We took a bus to one of the plazas. All of the statues were naked, so I learned a new word--desnudo. I´m sure to need that one again. Check out the picture; this is one of the only places where I will be the tallest in the picture.
As I said in the last post, I love having a bit more language, being able to share and ask more. Last night at the airport, I got to hear from some of the sisters here a little about what it is like to be the first sister to enter after a gap--to share what that is like for me. Right now, as I am typing, one of my sisters is preparing her program for her final vows in mid January. Having just made my finals in December, we have talked about the process of getting here and what it means for each of us. While we cleaned books, I heard about Maria Rubina´s last days here and the presence of her spirit now. I have gotten to ask about the conversations that our sisters are having here about the future of our congregation and the hopes of our sisters in Peru in relation to their experiences. I am excited for more mutual understanding and what it will mean for all of us as we live our futures together.
It is also good for me to orient myself within my vocation as a young sister in the United States today. When I was first thinking about becoming a CSJ, I was very aware that we had missions in Peru and thought maybe some day I would come to live. However, now I recognize a very different call as a young sister in the United States. I don´t know the full meaning of that call, but I do know it is something unique that I need to be in at this time. So, at the end of my third day here, I am filled with many things. I am hoping that others will share some experiences on the blog as the time here progresses, so, stay tuned.
May the God who is incarnate fill you and each of your days with great love.