My mission experience in London, Kentucky, helped me to regard people with greater compassion. I was involved with the children’s Sunday school classes at St. William Catholic Church and distributed food baskets with Come-Unity Cooperative Care (CCC), a not-for-profit organization that provides basic needs for area residents.
My experiences while visiting local families struck me and reminded me to be happy with whatever I have and to be openhearted, loving others as God loves us. The families’ simple way of life taught me to live simply and to be humble. At first, I had difficulty accepting the living situations we encountered, because I had not expected to see such poverty in the United States.
I felt so sad that in our world today people who poor always are isolated and set aside. The people I met didn’t have access to necessities, and they were suffering so much. However, I felt happy that I was able to visit and be with them even when I could not do big things for them. My mission experience in Kentucky also made me think about how I could do more for people with such great need in the future.
While serving breakfast at the CCC’s domestic violence and homeless shelters, I felt blessed by God’s presence. I was reminded of the Gospel message in Matthew 25:35: “I was hungry and you gave me food…” When I saw the women, I could see their suffering and frustration, but they were full of hope and faith in God. My encounters with them helped me to go deeper into myself and appreciate what I have. While I served food to them, I also felt I needed to feed myself spiritually—I needed to spend more time in prayer and to pray for them, too.
I learned so much about different cultures and traditions, and the experience created in me a new heart and attitude, especially for those who are less privileged. I feel blessed and grateful to God for this experience. I extend my deep gratitude to Sister Marjorie Ann Manning, and the parishioners at St. William Church for helping me in my mission experience in Kentucky, and for giving me the great opportunity to share my life with them.
Editors Note: As part of their formation process in the International Novitiate, second-year novices with the Sisters of the Holy Cross spent three months living in different congregational communities in the United States, where they also participated in local ministries and outreach. These missions helped further their understanding of life in the Congregation and provided them with rich opportunities for individual spiritual growth.