“You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us” (2cor 9; 11). Yes it is true in my life as I was in Fatima community. My experience was something very special and it challenged me to go ahead with deep faith surrendering myself completely to the Lord by loving and accepting the culture of people and place. I enjoyed the beauty of the nature. Everywhere greenish with beautiful flowers which whispered me of God’s unconditional love and care for me in this Promised Land.
The Community sisters were involved in education, health and pastoral ministry with much commitment and missionary zeal which impressed me: I could learn from them a lot of sacrifice, adjustment, readiness to face the challenges with love,courage and faith. I had many opportunities to go along with Sr. Chiara for pastoral work.
One of the best and enriching experience was Praying the Rosary with people. Since it was the month of October dedicated to Mother Mary,we could go to many stations walking hours and hours with procession from one place to another praying and singing the hymn of Mother Mary. People were very simple and they had special love and respect for mamma Mary.
They don’t like big churches but with what they have they try to arrange prayer houses for all people and the place is decorated with coloured flowers and mother Mary is placed there. Then the priest is available for confessions and people are very faithful to make their confession and after the confession we had a very creative and meaningful Holy Eucharistic celebration.
After the Holy Mass they came together for sharing of Kaikai (Food); they are generous enough to share what they have. I was so much taken up by their spirit of oneness and sharing attitudes. I feel proud of SVD Fathers who cooperate with us in reaching out to the people for spiritual needs. Though the places are at hill sides and the routes are rough and tough and no transportations but our missionaries are trying to reach out to the people and share the love of Christ. I would like to conclude my experience with this sentence: “You must be Shepherds who smell like your sheep.” As pope Francis urged catholic bishops and priests to go out among their flocks and know the people they serve like “shepherds living with the Smell of their sheep.
Sr. Rosemary Arulandu MSI
New missionary in PNG – Papua New Guinea.