My Profession, My Vocation

by: Dr. Richelle H. Verdeprado, RSW, JD

I am usually being introduced by stating my academic background, that I have just recently completed my academic requirements for Juris Doctor degree at the University of Negros Occidental- Recoletos School of Law and that I finished my Doctor of Philosophy in Development Management last 2017 with Outstanding Dissertation Award and Academic Excellence Award.

 I earned my Master’s degree in Social Work at Asian Social Institute in Manila and Bachelor of Science in Social Work in UNO-R as summa cum laude, and was top 2 in the Board Examination for Social Workers last 2011. Presently, I am the head of the Social Work program for both BS and MS programs in UNO-R and the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Sowing Legacy Movement Inc., an organization I myself founded with friends that offer scholarship program and conducts outreach and developmental activities for the youth and partner communities. I am also the author of ‘Love and Learning’ Book for a Cause and main author of “Leadership and Legacies. I am a Regional Finalist in the Pinay Power and was awarded by the Philippine Association of Social Workers, Inc. (PASWI) as outstanding social worker in the Philippines in the field of academe last 2020.

Currently, I am a fellow in the Youth Leadership Development Program in its Leadership and Democracy (LEAD) Fellowship. Leadership engagement has a special place in my heart. Back in my college years, I was among the Ayala Young Leaders delegate, The Outstanding Students (THOS) and the Outstanding Students of the Philippines (TOSP) finalist. Through the years, I had been invited as a speaker and facilitator in various camps and seminars about leadership, social work, gender equality, volunteerism, psycho-social support, and community service. I was also a delegate in the Philippine Young Leaders last September 3-12, 2017 in Beijing, Henan and Shanghai in China, and was also among those trained by the Climate Reality Project last 2018 at Los Angeles, California.

But taking away these achievements, I am still the Richelle who has been and will always be full of dreams, and who share those dreams not only for myself but for others. By listening to those introductions, I know that those could be achieved by others too, but what makes them symbolical for me is the fact that I did not live with privileges. I had to go through a lot of challenges, and each milestone remind me of people who believed in me and journeyed with me.

I could not imagine how my life would be if I did not meet the Capuchin Tertiary Sisters of the Holy Family. I had sad stories of how I had found myself on its doorsteps but I think those things happened because God is leading me to somewhere beautiful. I went through poverty, loss, rejection, and struggles. When the idea of living in an institution came to me, I was full of misgivings. It was because I had a traumatic experience of living in a center before. But I have nowhere to go that time, and I convinced myself that such an opportunity was worth the try. And I was not wrong! It was the sisters who opened their doors for me, with love and joy. I can still clearly remember how I was struck by the words printed in the gate of the Holy Family Home, “A child redeemed is a generation saved.” I had lived with the sisters from the second semester of my first year of college until I graduated with my Social Work degree.

I came from a poor family and both of my parents did not finish schooling. We cannot afford to buy all our needs and many things and experiences that were denied to us. Despite the lack of comfort, I can say that I had developed trust in my parents and in myself. I can see how they had been working hard for us. The reasons that made me feel powerless are the same reasons that made me feel capable enough.

I had a different childhood. While others are playing and running in the fields, I was studying in the library for a quiz bee contest. While others are having vacation with their family, I was with my mother selling bananas in the market. While other teenage girls were having fun with their peers, I was looking after my younger brother. I knew that I have to exert more effort because I wanted to achieve more. My sacrifices reaped good result. I delivered the valedictory address in behalf of my high school batch.

              I then had to make another major decision. What course will I take up? The missionaries suggested to me that I take BS Social Work. I have no idea what that course was actually. When I took the entrance exam, I had even forgotten the name of the course. But when I attended my first Social work class at the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos, it was though I was meeting my first love. And there I am, falling in love with it every day even up to now. “Embrace your profession, the profession you have worked hard for several years, the profession you have fought for and will live for, the profession you will die for.” Such words were so strong, so powerful and so passionate: just like love. The moment we began to feel that we wanted to spend our time and our talents in knowing more about our profession and in acquiring skills so that we know how to practice it better, we do so not because we have to but because we have already fallen in love with it. Our profession becomes our vocation. It is not just like love anymore; it is already love. It is love in its truest form.

Things did not just go as simple as that when I was institutionalized at the same time. New beginning required much change- and those changes don’t simply come as fast as what others would require them to be. I have deepened my faith while I was there but sometimes, I have also shaken it. I am not a devout catholic since birth and that I only went to church once in a blue moon. But I had felt that I have to defend what I believe- not because I am being stubborn or worshiping something or somebody else- but because I have never placed a doubt in my relationship with Him ever since and that it is that relationship that has delivered me through.

I’m glad that the Holy Family Home of the Capuchin Tertiary Sisters welcomed me in the middle of the school year and accepted me even though they don’t know me. I also met Father Sean Coyle of the Columban Missionaries who gave me an opportunity to work part-time in Misyon magazine where he is the editor. I continue to study with the support of the sisters, with the university academic scholarship I maintained and with the part time work.

      I enjoyed my college life. I was active in many organizations and in our university publication. In this part of the narrative, I wanted to write something about my college graduation and board examination. But there is not much to write about marching as one of the summa cum laude of the university and the one who delivered the speech in behalf of the graduates or about being the second placer in the National Board Examination of Social Workers.  Those achievements could be acquired by anyone and then be forgotten. What is more inspiring and thrilling to write are the struggles and joy before and after. Awards, medals, and certificates do not speak of who we are. We can go on attaining them and gain something for ourselves but they will only have meaning if those awards will be of impact to others too.  They will only have meaning if out of the knowledge we had gained; we will significantly create change to help others find hope in their lives.  Such is the beauty of social work. Such is the beauty I had discovered more outside the classroom, a beauty beyond what books had expressed and theorist had explained.

The instrument that social workers used a lot are our own selves and so we must be aware of who we are and what process we are going through so that we will be able to help more our clients.  When I started working in Coalition Against Trafficking in Women-Asia Pacific, I was remembering the passion of my fellow youth especially young women in pursuing their limitless dreams. Until now, I am remembering how the dire economic situation of our country obliged them to start working young or to give up their schooling. How many of them were deceived by traffickers who take advantage of their vulnerability. They find themselves trapped into modern forms of human slavery, forced labor, debt bondage, and prostitution.

Now, I am also running our organization together with other volunteers. We have recently opened the Legacy Home and Legacy Cafe to support our scholars. We are excited to explore various innovative approaches that will enhance all the projects of Sowing Legacy Movement, Inc. while providing our scholars and volunteers with a comprehensive program that will hone their leadership skills and allow them to experience the best and ‘challenging yet worth it’ happiness of being community leaders. This will be our concrete way of showing our gratitude to our supporters whose dedication and love to SLMi are priceless.

Home is not a ‘what’ for me, or the ‘where. It is the ‘who.’ We are building this home with and for the people who are immortalizing their ‘legacies’ not just for the ‘future’ but for today. And I will forever be grateful of the sisters for allowing me to experience what a true home really is, and from that I am inspired and guided in ensuring that the homes we are building are founded in love to humanity and service to God.

The Secret of Strength in the Community

by: Marierose Mamigo,tc

Community is, first of all, a quality of the heart, it grows from the spiritual knowledge that we are alive not for ourselves but for one another. Community is the fruit of our capacity to make the interest of others more important than our own. The question is not how we can make a community? But, how can we develop and nurture giving hearts? (HENRI NOUWEN)

     To maintain the joy, the unity within the community is a source of strength to whatever the mission and the journey entails.

         We are emerged in a world of multi-tasking as we respond to the needs and the demands of our Congregational mission in the Church. To remain united as a community will make the missionary journey more harmonious that leads to productivity.

             This is how we are here in Holy Family Home Community. To maintain the unity among us sisters entails positive mental health and emotional maturity where there is always room for mutual respect and understanding; love, care, and support, sincere acceptance and appreciation of each one’s strengths and limitations, light and shadows, beauty and wickedness. More so, a healthy environment where forgiveness is freely and generously offered and given to everyone, wherever there is room for forgiveness, leads the person to her personal growth and fruitfulness.

       We try our best daily to be faithful observers of our community project of life that guides and animates us. We become more united at the same time we are so much happy to give testimony to our Charism in the field of reeducation and rehabilitation here with the Holy Family Home Girls. And we carry this task as a community wherein each one has the collaboration.

Time and again, the words of Fr. Luis Amigó resonates in us:

“You must try to have among you a close unity since in it is the secret of strength…You must be the support of each other, bearing each other and overlooking the natural defects of others.”

            More than the words that we preach, our good, harmonious, healthy, and Christ-centered community stands out as a LIVING TESTIMONY before others; that in spite of our personal and communal imperfections, we strive to live as true disciples of the Lord, a community of “ONE in mind and in heart”…

Christ-centered
working together
fraternal joy
forgiveness

Forever Grateful

by: Sr. Luz Maria Buitrago,tc 

The first article of the Nazareth Community Sri Lanka, desires to render a tribute to all the persons who contributed to our first convent in Sri Lanka.

It is impossible not to proclaim the Miracles of God, His love, and never-ending care for us.

We, the Capuchin Tertiary Sisters arrived in Sri Lanka on December 2011 and marvelled over God’s work every day in our lives. Our congregation wanted to establish in Sri Lanka, therefore we started looking for the land. The land itself was a miracle, it was not even for sale, but God always shows the way. Finally, the congregation purchased the land in 2015, with the help of some benefactors.

And here the realization of the dream begins. With Zero Cash balance, but with 100% FAITH, we started the construction of the First Convent for the Capuchin Tertiary Sisters in Sri Lanka that will be used for the house of the sisters and for the formation of the young girls who would like to be a Capuchin Tertiary Sister to continue our mission.

We can recount so many instances when the money was not enough and there God appears to the rescue. From nowhere and we don’t know how, unknown persons just call or send a message saying “Sisters we have something for you”. Many times, the tears come, with our hearts filled with awe, and with the gratefulness of having so many people who reached out to us.

There are several cases and here the Gospel applies, it is not how much you give, it is the love that we feel from each one of you, helping us to realize our dreams.

There was a little boy who donated $17 dollars. For him, it was everything he has. One day he came with his family to visit us, and when he saw our land he shouted: “Dad! Is this the land the sisters bought with the money I sent?” Without any doubt and with tears I said, “Yes. This is the land that we bought with your money but also with the help of others. The joy that I saw in the eyes of this little boy was enough to be proud of all of you that like him do your best for us.

Another person didn’t want to help for construction purposes, but I still ask him to help us for the tiles in the chapel (we always want our chapels to be special, giving the best for God). He did not answer but after a week, he sent 4 times more than the cost of the tiles. And like this we can go on, but each one has the stories and experiences than later they themselves will share with us. The words of the staff in the bank, calling us saying, “Sister, you received another Miracle”. This is the word that we use for this project, “Miracle” because there is no other word or way to explain how God made this house for us.

There is another “Miracle” that is impossible not to mention. One time, in the middle of the construction, we have less than a million rupees in the bank. As usual, WE PRAY AND TRUST, and after a week, two very important donations arrived that we were not expecting. Many times, tears just come out of joy and gratitude. Therefore, this is our tribute to each one of you, who made possible this Miracle convent.

We are forever grateful to those who help us to clean the land, those who gave food, those who help us to build the house, our sisters in Rome, our sisters in the Philippines, our benefactors and friends and those who constructed it – the architect, the engineers, electrician, plumber, labourers, painters, carpenters, suppliers:

This will be a House of blessing for everyone who comes to us.  You are always WELCOME.

Our ONLY WAY FOR US TO SHOW OUR GRATITUDE to each one of you, is the assurance of our prayers.  Dearest friends, you are always in our prayers.  Certainly, God will reward you in due time, here we are like little candles lighted for you and your families every day.

Here in Sri Lanka you are also building history being part of our Family of the Capuchin tertiary sisters, THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS.  May the Lord bless you and your families.

Encounter and Experience

Postulants, San Damiano Community

When it comes to the word “Community”, what pops up in your mind first?

FAMILY. Family is the first community, the cradle where we belong, live, care, open, and love; where our hearts can feel and experience true joy and happiness, eternal peace, and forgiveness. Our heart still desires and longs for it. God is gracious and merciful that He grants each one of us a beautiful family but He has called us to search, experience, and build up a greater family. It is in San Damiano community where we belong right now. We are truly happy and glad to be here.

We are called to be one by Jesus Himself who is truly our motivation, our inspiration, who constantly calls and invites us to establish the true Pentecost community which speaks of love, strives to understand, and shares with one another. The first impression in our hearts is when we experienced the warm welcome of the community when we just arrived. We received tender care from the community and the care when we were in quarantine. It has shown us the true meaning of fraternity. We have been experiencing the support, teachings, and understanding of the sisters. We have received the accompaniment not only from our formator but also from all the sisters in the community.  They truly care what we need or in the way they teach us by giving fraternal correction which helps us to grow more in many aspects of life.

Not only that, we truly feel joy, happiness, and closeness when we are together in meal time-sharing when we participate in recreation or in any activity that we do together. Moreover, among ourselves, we are free and willing to give a hand, offer support, and stand with one another, or even simply give a word of encouragement. In the same way, we learned how to open up ourselves, be more courageous to ask for having a dialogue where we can express ourselves, and listen more to each other in patience and understanding.

With all of these experiences, we come to realize that community life gives us inner joy and peace. But it is so challenging because each one of us is a note in a music piece: different backgrounds, personalities, and cultures. That is why there are moments of conflict and misunderstandings. We fail to listen and understand others but from that, the invitation to each of us is to grow more in mutual understanding, listening skills, and especially patience. Though it is challenging, it speaks accurately the uniqueness of each one, it also shows the amazing beauty of community life which is in God. In faith sharing, we all have the deepest desire to follow Him more closely and do His will in our lives which is to establish the Kingdom of God here on earth. He has called and placed us together and that is the first motivation and supportive wheels for our journey.

Therefore, we are all invited to treasure the gift of community life by appreciating and acknowledging the presence of each member. Together, we will strive to exert our effort in building up a fruitful and beautiful community.

We are not connected by blood but connected by heart in Christ Jesus”.

True Love at 55

by: Sr. Antonieta Napone,tc

 

When God calls you, He also provides everything you need if you only open yourself, be available, and willingly entrust your life to Him with the certainty of being loved in return.

I have worked for almost 27 years and have a house of my own, and comfortably lived alone. During summer, I used to travel to beautiful places with my friends as part of my vacation. But still, I find myself lacking something. I have some longing which I didn’t know what it was.

One day, a friend of mine who is a member of the YOS (Year of Service) program, invited me to visit a place wherein the description aroused my interest, and wanted to be there.

I arrived in a place away from the city but still part of Bacolod City. A sister named Sr. Letty of the Capuchin Tertiary Sisters of the Holy Family met me and brought me to Holy Family Home, Bacolod, a Protection and Rehabilitation Center that they are managing.

My experience during that visit awakened me and changed my life forever. It reminded me of my dream long ago, to work in an orphanage. It also brought me back to all my experiences with scholars I was in charged of. They were young students of the different Universities of Cagayan de Oro.

I prayed for my decision and had a three-day retreat at the Jesuit Retreat House in Bukidnon. I told my mother and my siblings about my decision to go to Bacolod and work with the Sisters as a volunteer. All of them disagreed and did not like the idea of leaving my place and my home. The more that they stopped me, the more I wanted to go for my heart at that time was so restless as if I was so much in love that nobody can stop me. I left my house to a friend but later my Sister-in-law stayed there together with my nieces who were in College.

I finally arrived in Bacolod and was assigned as an Educator (House Parent) of the College students. I worked with them for four years until I joined the Capuchin Tertiary Sisters. I had an interview with the General Superior who luckily attended the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the presence of the Congregation in the Philippines (Asia). I was accepted and my formation began.

I had my Postulancy in Cebu City, so I had to ask Gina, a friend of mine, to replace me as Educator of the College Girls. It was in the formation that I fully and strongly experienced the love of God. It was the love and mercy of God that strengthened me during the difficult moments. He showed His guidance and direction through my Formators and the support of my companions. The prayers of the Sisters made it all possible for me to overcome all those hardships since I entered in my advance age. I entered at 55 years old. Yes! God will do the rest and it’s only for me to do my best despite of so many limitations.

After 2 years, I had my first profession, which was witnessed by my mother and my siblings. I thank the Lord for the great favor He has done to me. Most of all, I can truly say – Lord I am yours and He can say “You are mine; you did not choose me, I chose you. His love endures and is forever, it never ends.”

Real Happiness

by: Sr. Juliet V. Mantos,tc

“Real happiness doesn’t come from getting everything you want. It comes from sharing what you have with people who matter.”

 Sharing with others becomes more meaningful when we share from our poverty that leads us to experience deep joy in our hearts. For more than a year now, we have been experiencing in this time of pandemic the powerlessness – feeling poor and limited but we also see how the  people respond to this. Some people with genuine and generous hearts share their blessings with others.

This is also what we experience in our community. The great manifestation of God’s providence comes in various ways. One of these is through generous individuals, families, communities/institutions, NGO’S who share their blessings through donations for the center (Holy Family Home), and from these blessings, we also share to others especially to the families of the girls, staff, scholars, certain individuals or families in the neighborhood and most importantly to our sisters in the Novitiate community. Sharing to them the blessings we received is one way of helping the Vice-Province since the dormitory doesn’t have income this time of the pandemic, so the formation houses were also affected. We really felt the sense of fraternity that in the midst of scarcity we are there for our sisters. It is beyond material things, the spirit of love and compassion is the real motive of our charity.

Moreover, it is to constantly pray that the Lord will continue to shower His blessings to these generous people and their respective families as our way of recognizing their kindness to us.

Anne Frank once said, “No one gets poor in helping others”. 

It is not only helping with material things but also giving your valuable time, presence, support, encouragement, prayers, we can be “good Samaritans” to others.

Because certainly, the ripple effect of kindness is still present among us and the Lord will bless us all the more with His abundant blessings.

A Grace to be Part of the Lay Amigonian Movement

by: Gina H. Lavides

Being part of the family of the Lay Amigonian is indeed a GRACE. I have valuable experiences of growth as a person and most importantly as a friend, a mother, and a wife. Prior to being a member of the Lay Amigonian, I was unaware of a lot of things. I knew the Bible but I didn’t know and care that much about it. Only then when I became a member of the group that I started to open the Bible, read the verses, reflect on them, and even relate them to my daily life. Sometimes, it made me wonder how God had blessed me and continuously pouring His graces from the beginning of my life until now. I also learned to put attention and have more understanding about the Eucharist and its meaning. The group helped me see that my faith is not boring but a stepping stone for joy and communion.

Thanks to the Lay Amigonian Adult that gave me a chance to enjoy those recollections that help me encounter and confront myself and allowed me also to seek and give forgiveness. It gave me a lot of opportunities to visit places that help me grow more in my faith and in my conviction as a believer and a Catholic. Being part of the group helps me grow in my relationship with God and allows me to see and be part of God’s mission through the sisters.

I am forever grateful for the opportunity that was given to me and thanks to Father Luis Amigo for his initiative and for helping us to continue his mission here on earth.

Pandemic of Joy

by: Ofelia G. Fausto

My first encounter with the Capuchin Tertiary Sisters was when Sr. Marigladys came to the Philippines to take charge of the formation of the postulants.  She was looking for someone who can teach the girls some arts and crafts as part of her holistic approach for their training module.  Since I had just concluded a livelihood program for the parish which somehow resembled an artistic project, my name came up and Sr. Marigladys lost no time in locating me.  If I was not mistaken, she met up with me the very week she flew in from Panama!

Despite our language barrier — she, speaking mostly in Spanish and me with my crude Spanish from my college years, we were able to schedule some art classes which resulted in better student projects than what the teacher taught.   That ended my career as an art teacher.

This brief introduction with the Capuchin Tertiary Sisters impressed upon me on how well-rounded these postulants will be when they finally become full-fledged nuns.  It is no wonder that in the ensuing years, I would feel the presence of the Capuchin Sisters in practically all the facets of my parish life.  They are involved with the choir, as Lectors and Commentators, the 2,000 Hail Marys, catechism, feeding program, etc. 

It is the Capuchin Sisters’ sincere personal interest in others that urges them to reach out.  Their strong rapport with the community enables them to link up people in need with people who care and are willing to share. 

One peculiar trait I observe with the Sisters is how they always find joy in little things.  They are always cheerful and keep on smiling.  Their sense of joy is truly contagious.  I guess, if you keep seeing God in every person you meet, you too will experience this special joy!   I hope the Sisters can turn their sense of joy into a pandemic and change this world into a better place.

Forgiveness in Fraternity

Sr. Myra Grijaldo,tc

We are called by the Lord to form a community who love, serve, and support one another, making on earth an image of the Triune God who has that sheer bond of relationship with one another.

We are a community of sisters with three members from different nations – Colombia, Korea, and the Philippines.  The differences in language, culture, family upbringing and personality greatly affect community living.  In addition, our age gap.  Though called for the same purpose and mission, each of us has our own perspective.  We may have some things in common, but in others, we may vary in view and opinion.  But, when it comes to community matters, we always come up with one result, one decision, and one agreement that the three of us become responsible for it. 

It cannot be avoided that in some instances we come across misinterpretation and argument.  Each one has her own belief.  This conflict, sometimes, leads to offending and hurting others.  At times, it takes some moment to process the event.  It entails grace from the Lord to humble oneself, and rather than justifying, the acceptance of what had happened is necessary.

“…and forgive us our sins, as we forgive everyone who sins against us…” Luke 11:4

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not just seven times, but seventy-seven times!” – Matthew 18:21-22

Every day, we are praying the Lord’s Prayer and in it, we beg pardon for the offenses we made. If one experiences the forgiveness of sins and feels how it is to be truly redeemed, these will lead to the consequence of forgiving others as well.  God has forgiven me of my sins, so I want to forgive others the way God has forgiven me.  One needs grace from the Lord to do this, and every day is a patient practice in doing so.

No matter how many times one feels offended, the Lord is inviting us to forgive again and again.  More so, it is important to pray for those who offended us, and to let go of grievances. At times it is difficult to forgive when we are caught in a situation of hurt and pain, but the grace of God accompanies us to do so and to let go. 

Jesus forgave His offenders and prayed for them when He was nailed on the cross.  We commit ourselves to follow Jesus, and this includes forgiving and praying for those who offended us.       

Attached to this beautiful experience of forgiveness is the renewal of commitment to love and care for others.  If we are true to our promise to love and serve the Lord, there will always be a place for forgiveness and letting go. More than being hurt, we have the capacity to transcend.

Srs. Yolanda Idarraga, Myra Grijaldo, and Anastasia 김영선

Journey with God

by: Sr. Kim Young Sun Anastasia 

When I look back on my own history, it becomes clearer that the desire to seek God is inherent in every person, Christian or non-Christian, from the moment of creation.

Born into a Confucian family in a small village in the countryside, I had never seen a place called a Catholic Church from afar until I went to high school. From a young age, I enjoyed reading books or playing imaginative games alone at home rather than going out to play. When I was in middle school, I started to search for the reason why humans have to live a short life after being born and then die like the dew of dawn and they dry up and disappear in the rising sun. These unanswered questions disappeared into the background as they were pushed to study and work life, and to survive in a fiercely competitive society, I just lived day by day, doing more and trying to learn more than others.

In these busy days, one day, a question I had forgotten about all of my existence again enveloped me. Why do humans have to be born and die? Without an answer to this question, life is meaningless.

As I was wandering in search of the answer to this question, I happened to pass a church near my house while walking immersed in thought on my way home from work. Passing through the statue of a woman standing in the middle of the yard of the church, and entering the church with the door open, a man named Jesus was found hanging helplessly on the cross under a dim light. With the vague expectation that this weak-looking man named Jesus would give me answers to my questions, I went to the church a few weeks later and expressed my desire to become a believer and after receiving the catechesis for a year, I got baptized. Before I was baptized, I bought all kinds of spiritual books through a Catholic bookstore and started reading them. The nuns invited me to a vocational meeting and started attending such meetings even before I was baptized.

However, after I was baptized, the Holy Spirit led me to a new desert called China. I quitted my job and volunteered in a Chinese leprosy village for 5 years. As I shared the joys and pains with them, making the wounds of their bodies and minds mine, I started to ask again what God really wants of me.

“God, do you want me to spend the rest of my life here with these sick people as a lay? Or do you want to follow the path of Religious Life?”

I waited for five years for an answer to this question, and when I let go of my will, God showed me the way He had prepared. It’s the religious life, a simple and humble way of living, like that of the life of Nazareth.

That humble way of life burned like a fireball in my heart, and I found through the internet, the Capuchin Sisters living the spirituality of St. Francis, a minor saint, and God brought me into contact with the Community in Bucheon, Korea.

On my first visit, on that very day, I was convinced that this was the order I would live in, and after three visits, I decided to join. I was given the homework to convince my non-religious family, but I did the preparations I had to do, trusting that God called and He would take care of it.

“I believe when God calls, He will take care of me.”

Contrary to my worries, my family respected the path I wanted to take, and now I am living as the first Korean religious in the Bucheon community where I had my first vocational meeting. There is no point in resisting if you have felt the call of God. What I can say with more certainty after making my final vow is that He provides the best for us. What we humans can see is but one point in His plan, which is bigger than the universe. So, once you have heard His voice, it is the wisdom of life to surrender to Him and do the best you can. Then, with the five loaves I own, God will provide enough for 5,000 people to eat.

There is no death in life. The death of the body only changes the form of life. So, there is no need to ask any more questions.

With the question of “the meaning of life and death,” God led me to seek Him even before I was baptized and called me to where I am today. I live that calling. That is important, and that is happiness.