Greetings to all the friends of St. Jeanne Antide scattered across the globe. We are all united in God Alone. The experience of my Ordination as Permanent Deacon has truly filled my with joy and deep emotions, after a long preparation to say “yes” to the Lord’s call which he made to me … it all started in my youth, when I was 30 years old. I encountered Sr. Clemencia (sister of charity of St. Jeanne Antide), who thanks to Gloria Allegre invited me for a course of catechises in the house of the sisters of Charity in Fernando de la Mora in Paraguay… My adventure started her. My thanks go to Sr. Clemencia and all the sisters whom I encountered in my life and who have marked the journey of my formation … I wish to recall Sr. Angela Giuliana, Sr. Marina, Sr. Liberata, Sr. Maria Grazia, Sr. Vittoria+, Sr. Stella Maris and Sr. Anna Maria; Sr. Alicia and Sr. Elina (when they were novices), Sr. Monica, Sr. Immacolata, Sr. Mirta, Sr. Laura with whom I had the occasion to carry out a long missionary journey as a young man; Sr. Daniela, Sr. Cathy, Sr. Iolanda, Sr. Giovanna, Sr. Eufemia+, Sr Teresa, Sr. Belén, Sr. Battistina and many others with whom I became acquainted during my life.
During many years of my youth, I enjoyed the participation in the missionary-vocational encounters which were animated by the sisters of Charity. It was there that i could make a good discernment. Gloria was also a member of that group and today she is my wife. My thanks go even to her and to my children, Emmanuel, Elias and Johan, for their support to accomplish my pastoral work. I really feel proud of my family.
St. Jeanne Antide inspired me and has been an important tool in saying Yes to be a permanent deacon. She was a woman who managed to maintain her “yes” notwithstanding the difficulties to remain faithful to the Lord’s call … when one answers God’s call, He gives him all that is necessary. At times, when I was surrounded by doubts, I used to tell her: give me some of your courage and daring, your self-giving and your obedience … to seek only God’s will.
Today, my family and myself, we entrust ourselves to the prayers of our sisters of Charity and of our Friends of St. Jeanne Antide in order to remain faithful to this GRACE which we carry in vases of clay. A heartfelt embrace to everyone and let’s continue to remain united in God Alone.
“Serving with joy…serving God Alone, serving the poor and the least, as Jeanne Antide taught us”.
Diac. Arnaldo Ramirez – Friend of SJATh