|The day I received the habit of a Sister, Servant
of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1996, Sister Marie Angela told me that
I was beginning a “great adventure.” Two years later, Sister
reiterated her analogy of religious life and the “great adventure,”
with First Profession a resplendent facet of this adventure.
After my First Profession in 1998, I taught second grade in St. Cecilia School in Fox Chase, Philadelphia. The pastor, Monsignor Dreger, and the Sisters with whom I lived gifted me with treasured support of prayerful example, loving encouragement, and joyful laughter. Two years later, having been commissioned at the Mass for service in South America, I enthusiastically - and a bit anxiously - boarded the plane for my new mission, Villa Maria Academy, Miraflores, Peru.
The second-grade girls I taught at Miraflores were a great help to me in learning Spanish. In Peru, Sisters Elizabeth Polanco, Liz Veramendi, and I participated in the program for Temporary Professed and took classes with other junior professed Sisters. Associating with Sisters from several South American communities was enriching, and made me so grateful for our own IHM Congregation.
In our Holy Spirit Region there is a custom of supportive presence for one another’s school and mission events. Not only was I touched by the children and their families in Villa Maria, Miraflores, but I also became acquainted and worked alongside the young women in our Secretary Institute in Callao, assisting them with service projects. I experienced the unabashed simplicity of the children in Montenegro when playing with them in the streets, and shared in the special liturgies and carnivals in our schools in Callao and Barranca, in EIC and Villa Maria, La Planicie.
In February 2002, the “winds of change” blew again, sending me
to Curacavi, Chile, where I am presently missioned. Curacavi is like a slice
of heaven! The tranquility of its mountainous scenery is a meditation in itself.
There are four Sisters in Curacavi – each wearing several different “hats.”
Presently as eighth-grade homeroom moderator, I teach the students English and
Science. I also teach Religion to the first, second and third grades, and English
in the kindergarten. In addition to school activities, we are engaged in an
active pastoral life with the Chapel and Parish responsibilities. The people’s
faith in God continually edifies me, as does their inner strength amidst constant
struggles with poverty and violence in their homes. From rich or poor, whole
or broken families, children are the same the world over in their innocence
and their joy for life. Their belief in the love of God is a sunbeam in the
worst of situations.
Five years of temporary profession have blessed me with joy, challenge and change - in location, community living, ministry and, most profoundly, in my relationship with our Lord. Little did I know this “great adventure” would take me from Fox Chase, Philadelphia to Curacavi, Chile, validating for me God’s words to the prophet Jeremiah 29:11: “For surely I know well the plans I have for you, plans for your welfare and not for your harm, to give you a future with hope.” And so it is as I prepare for profession of perpetual vows on August 15, 2003, that I embrace with conviction and hope “for all my life” this great adventure of being a Sister, Servant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Close this window.