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Thursday, 13 July 2017 20:58

Our experience with the elderly

We are novices among the Sisters of Charity of Saint Jeanne Antide. The noviciate is a period of formation to become Sisters and live religious life fully.  Armelle, from Chad, and Luong, from Vietnam tell us their mission experience with seniors. 

LUONG: From last year, we novices, have been collaborating with the “S. Egidio’s Community” at the service of the Church and of the Kingdom of God. With simplicity and according to our possibilities we take part in various activities.

ARMELLE : What do we do exactly? Once a week we visit elderly people, who live in the neighbourhood near St. John Lateran’s basilica. Some of them live alone, have no family, others have a family but they live faraway, others have children living in the city who are unable to visit often their parents due to work, health problems or their own family’s commitments.

Our visit gives them a chance to chat, share and keep hoping … we have built simple and friendly relationships with them, being attentive to the needs of each one of them. Sometimes we bring them something to eat, or else we make supper for them, we tidy up the house, iron their clothes, and help them with personal care (cutting their nails and hair)…

LUONG :  With those who can we also go out for a walk. We entertain them singing, dancing, reading a book, listening to their stories and also sharing ours. Sometimes it happens that we pray together with them, or else we offer them comfort encouraging them to have faith and keep hoping.
We also had positive feed-backs from their children who appreciate our weekly presence which assures them that their parents have someone else to rely on.

ARMELLE : Back in our community we “keep” these people in our prayer, and we talk about them and what we do with them.
This is not much, yet it makes us experience the importance of caring for others and strengthens in us the wish of making our life a gift of love for all. For the elderly our visits are the occasion to spend some time in a different way, being listened to, loved, and accepted as they are.

LUONG: This experience offers to us, novices of the Sisters of Charity who are going through a formation process towards becoming Sisters, an opportunity to live our Charism in a practical way, learning to see Jesus in the poor, the sick, the elderly and the marginalized, and put into practice the words of Matthew 25:40: “Whatever you do to one of these little ones, you do it to me!”.


Published in Shared reflections
Monday, 17 April 2017 11:07

Damascus: Thanks to the religious !

82 female religious from different congregation dedicate themselves modestly and with great discretion to serve the Church in Damascus… without letting others speak about them. With the help of the Spirit they provide a deep power that gives life to the charisms of the Gospel in a country which is torn apart by the war, without getting tired or scared.

1) WITNESS OF FRATERNITY : Some of them live in small communities, in their big old schools which were nationalised in 1968… others in the hospital establishments or in the simple apartments or lodgings in the midst of the people of God where they lead a life of poverty, prayer and praise.

2) LISTENING: These consecrated religious are available to welcome and to listen to these poor people. A first aid mission especially during these years of war and solitude… They store up in their hearts all the sufferings and the concerns of the small people forgotten in misery and incertitude… In front of helplessness, these Consecrated women form with love and tenderness, a Wall of Lamentation while assuring a charitable presence for the impoverished families.

3) FACES OF COMPASSION : the commitment of our Sisters at the service of the families is expressed by their presence in the nurseries, the schools, the dispensaries, the soup kitchens and in the catechism and religious formation centres …. To welcome their heroic mission in the hospital sector and the caring of the sick, many of whom are war casualties, developing a suitable pastoral ministry of the sick and the elderly…

4) FUTURE ASSETS : The Sisters’ pilot mission is still focused on the schools and on the formation of children and youths … Through this pedagogical service they transmit the values of peace, tolerance and dialogue, pledges of rebuilding a destroyed Native Country and of Ecclesial Renewal… In this domain they welcome all forms of psychological support to help those who suffered badly from the war and the youths marked by violence, delinquency and exclusion…

5) HEARTFELT THANKS : Doesn’t this beautiful witness of hidden and unknown light deserve some gratitude and acknowledgement ? Dearest Consecrated Women in Damascus, only the RISEN CHRIST is capable to thank you and to bless you.

Easter 2017

† Samir NASSAR

Maronnite Archbishop of Damascus

Published in Shared reflections

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