|Canto Chico from the roof of the formation house|
Notice the rebar protruding from the roofs of many of the homes. One of our sisters said these are signs of hope; they are a sign that the family hopes one day to build another floor.
|Jill, Nancy, Agrepina, and Sarah visit with some|
of our dear neighbors
Our sisters took us in small groups to visit families that they have gotten to know living in the formation house during their time as novices. The sisters, although no longer novices, continue to return to the neighborhood to tutor, to visit with families, etc. The families welcomed us with great generosity into their homes where they shared their stories and often a bit of something to eat with us. They are a people very creative in their survival and very strong in their faith.
We reflected today as we shared around the realities of all of our ministries, that while we serve the dear neighbor, it is actually they who serve us in all that they teach us and all that they call us to be and to do. One group shared that the neighbor with whom they were visiting said to them, "Pardon my poverty." The group said that their response should have been, "No, pardon our wealth." We asked ourselves, what would it be like to welcome these families into our homes, our lives?
I wrote a poem during some silent reflection time about the experience in Canto Chico, about the experience of the poor, and, really, about the dreams of each of us:
They'll take the land that no one wants
and build their hopes there.
The grand dream but a sliding dirt mound,
becomes a straw mat hut,
a room, one at a time.
sometimes actually building
into reality what wasn't before,
but what could be.
|The sisters watching enjoying the dancing of one of another dear|
neighbor, 12 year old Liz, who might one day make a great
Sister of St. Joseph
Sister Mary Luz shares this around some of her reflections of our time: Somos mujeres embarazadas de Dios, de nuestra cultura y todo lo que brota de esa experiencia es nuestra Identidad como mujeres, como religiosas, como iglesia. Que somos diferentes y desde esa diferencia puesta en comun es una riqueza que brota para vivir en comunion respetandonos unas a otras. Una de los desafios que encuentro es conocernos mas escribirnos mantener comunicacion con cada una para crecer en vinculos.
My translation: We are women pregnant with God, with our cultures, and everything that flows from our experience is our identity as women, as religious, as church. We are different, and from this difference is a commonality that is welling up to live in communion and respect with each other. One of the challenges that I find is to write and maintain communication with each other and grow the bonds between us.
It has been an amazing experience to be here with peers, sharing, learning, growing together. We have many questions about how we will carry this experience, how we will continue to build relationships, and how we can continue being the "Congregation of the Great Love of God" for and with the dear neighbor and all of creation.
|Yoli, Lucia, and Amy doing a Japanese dance|
done by fishermen.
Lest you think the day was all seriousness, we found time for some Japanese dance and even an evening of Bingo both led by our Japanese sister Lucia.