Archive | October, 2020

A Message from a Past Camper

28 Oct

This was a Facebook post from one of our very first “campers”. She gave me permission to share it here. She was always an excellent student. You can read her beautiful description of her childhood at the home,  Hogar Teresa Toda, our Sister Community in Azua, DR. She is now a wife and mother of two: daughter, 8 and son, 3. They are so cute! I thought this was so lovely, seeing how she appreciates the impact the Sisters have had on her life. One of the pictures is from that post and I added two more. Most of you know that their order is the Carmelites of Saint Joseph. They chose Saint Joseph because he took care of Jesus even though He was not his biological son. This is a straight Google translation, but I think you’ll understand it.

“Not only are they nuns or religious, they are women who know how to be mothers, teachers, and friends. They dedicate their lives to the foster and teaching of girls in need of attention, love, and thirsty to learn.

“I remember exactly my arrival to which would become my home for 11 years of my life and what a beautiful experience. It was always a kind of bubble, a safety dome, out there life became different, go from being cared for and fend for myself was the great challenge of my life😅. But I’ve always said it, every person who lived with me has been a lesson for life, because with them I knew the meaning of true friendship (Patricia, Natalia, Carolina). That to get along with my neighbors only have respect for each person around me. That I can learn from all, but also serve as a guide to the growth of another group. Creativity has no limits and with a pencil after a stroke more ideas emerge that can become art. That to be heard you do not need to scream. If you have firmness, that the money that makes me worthy is the only one I have right🙂. Always do things selflessly, even give love. I was taught to thank for everything, to do an analysis every night of my day, because that would help me improve my habits. I was given the privilege to study in two good schools, to value things and people, and taught me to believe in me.

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“Thank you for relieving my fever nights. Thank you for those camps we longed for every school year end. Thank you for being the guide of 30 girls of different ages. Thank you for teaching me how to cook, to iron, to sew on a button, to sew the hem of my pants. Thank you for teaching me how to embroider, knit, paint, sing, for allowing me to learn to enjoy life from the simplest. Thank you thank you. Blessings.”

Peace,

Ann

Updates from Azua, October 2020

5 Oct

Hola Amigas!

I hope you are staying healthy and well. Sister Fifi contacted me Friday on WhatsApp and I wanted to share with all of you the latest from the home.

It’s a lot. It is all in the same order she gave me.

Sister Dione died a little over two weeks ago. She had been sick; it wasn’t covid. Most recently she lived at El Carmelo and was very warm and huggy when we visited there, before heading to Azua. I’m not sure, but I believe she was also a school teacher. This picture doesn’t show it, but she had a big smile. We will miss her. 

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The girls have not left the property since March, about when we started quarantining. She said COVID is still bad there, not safe for the girls. But they girls are doing well, attending remote school.

And, Sister Fifi thanked us again for the donation earlier this summer. On that subject, I’m preparing to send money again. If you gave money to Saint Ed’s directed to the home since last camp (July 2019) please let me know when and how much. I’m aware of only one right now. I’m going to have those donations wired down if possible, if not we’ll send it now that we know it works.

The next news is that Sister Maira is very sick with COVID. Sister Maira usually greets us at El Carmelo. She’s like the CFO of the order in Dominican Republic. She’s usually very hale and healthy. I don’t know how she got it. They live pretty sequestered. But, as we know, it doesn’t take much. She’s still sick, but is getting better.

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The major news 😭😥😭 is that Sister Fifi was assigned to a new project – a spirituality center at El Carmelo in Santo Domingo. She will live at El Carmelo, so we will still see her, but she is giving up her position at the home. I was very surprised and at first sad to hear this. She is such a special person, uniquely suited to direct the home, but I think she’ll have a big impact in the capital, as well.

She thanked all of us for the years we’ve shared. She thanked us for caring about the girls. Your contributions of time, talent, and treasure (today was Stewardship Weekend at St. Ed’s) is very touching to her and all the Sisters. 
She said the older girls are especially sad. Here are some recent pics. She said she’s having a hard time leaving the girls, but she has to start this new mission. 

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She’s leaving this week. Imagine the tears! I told her it will be 1000 times worse than the last day of camp!! I hope we have camp next year and that she can come visit. Or at least see her at El Carmelo! 

She said that God has given us all so much. I agree!

To answer the next question – Sister Sandra is returning! For the last few years has been running the home for retired Sisters. You can imagine, a lot of the administration is the same, just (I imagine) at a slower pace. There are people to feed, employees, activities, etc. 
Here’s an older picture of Sister Sandra, when we were on a community visit. She loves children and babies. She founded Hogar Teresa Toda, the home, 25+ years ago.

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Here is my latest picture of her from 2018 with some travelers

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That’s it for the updates. Please, send any updates you’d like to share!
Peace,

Ann