Friday, May 25, 2012

Comprehensive Formation at the Marie Poussepin Center, Guaimaca, Honduras

Mothers’ Day was a good opportunity for our students to exhibit their artistic talents.  They had been practicing different folkloric dances and were ready to perform for their mothers.

Also, many of them surprised Sr. Teresa María and the tutors for their creativity in presentingdifferent dramas depicting real life situations.  Actually, the dramas became a good way of giving different reflections on how to deal with some personal or family conflicts.

This was also a day for the parents to receive the grades of their daughters’ first quarter and to meet with the tutors to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of their daughters and see how they could improve.

All together the students did well academically in this first trimester and Sr. Teresa María and the tutors thought it was important to give everyone an afternoon to play the favorite sport in Honduras: Soccer!...Tutors and students spent a whole afternoon at a place in the country side where one of the parishioners let us use the soccer field. 

It was a very appropriate day for each group to use the uniforms that had been sent by different benefactors in the USA. There was a set of uniforms for every group and even for the tutors and staff. Alex Flores, one of our Stonehill Extension Volunteers, was the organizer and arbiter of all the games. It was a great afternoon and even the rain cooperated…however, everyone did get a good shower at the end of the afternoon…Students and adults arrived home soak and wet!

All these are good opportunities to enhance the Comprehensive Formation of our Students at the Marie Poussepin Center.

For us, the sisters in this mission and community, there have also been moments of community relaxation.  We had an outing in Tegucigalpa to celebrate Sr. Teresa María’s birthday, and went to “El Cristo del Picacho”, a park at 2,108 meters over sea level with a statue of Christ 20 meters high and built on a 12 meter high pedestal.  The statue can be seen from different areas of Tegucigalpa.  We could also see some parts of the city from the mountain. It was a good spot to ask Christ to bring peace to this country so devastated by violence and crime!

However, the actual birthday was on a Monday and the rainy season brought us heavy rains and floods.  Most students did arrive home from their villages, some of them full of mud from driving in the back of pickups. Since it seemed that the rain had stop, the older ones went to have Physical Education class and came back dripping! The other students were collecting the water in trashcans, directing the water to stop it from flooding the classrooms, dining room and kitchen.  Actually, the rains were so heavy that the water running down the streets was coming in the property. Needless to say it was a wet birthday for Sr. Teresa María, as it can be seen in the pictures!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

When it comes to Forgiving there is no option

Our Lay Asociates continue their monthly meetings of reflection and study. Enjoy reading the summary of their April meeting written by Mary Lou Reinhagen-Collard.

This month’s discussion, lead by a well-versed Lydia Bredemeir centered around the topic of forgiveness. A large poster of the famous Rembrandt painting of the Prodigal Son was displayed and explained using excerpts from Father Henri Nouwen’s well known book of the same name.

Some profound thoughts included;
v Having a discipline of gratitude
v Choose to be grateful even when emotions are involved
v Love without expecting to be loved in return
v God is searching for me!?
v We are engraved in the palm of His hand
v God is searching for us. He takes initiative just as the Father in the parable took initiative with his younger son.
The light in the darkness can be trusted. We are called to become the Father, to comfort and console.
If one looks at the hands of the father in the picture, one hand appears very masculine, but the other is feminine, comforting and consoling. God wants to comfort and console us as a mother comforts her child. As Father Nouwen often pointed out in his lectures and writing, all of us have been poorly loved in this world, and many of us have a great fear of the Father. We must let go of that fear and become liked the father ourselves. At different times in our lives we are the prodigal, but we are often the older brother.
However, we must become like the Father and forgive from the heart. This forgiveness is an act of magnanimous generosity. It is when we give ourselves that we become a true disciple. There must be no prerequisites to your forgiveness. Just forgive.

It is of course very difficult. Some people have experienced horrendous pain and sorrow. We need to forgive events, attitudes, prejudices. It takes much effort.
There are forms of meditation that can help when we are feeling like the older brother. And as one associate pointed out: “if you carry a grudge, you give that person free rent in your head.”
      When it comes to forgiving there is no option. Forgive