Mary Ward Week 2024: Day 7

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Who is this woman? What is she saying to us?

Journeying with Mary Ward in Timor-Leste is very real for me. I see so many sparks of her spirit in the life stories, beliefs, culture, mysticism and hopes of the Timorese people. I also feel so blessed to witness the way her spirit speaks deeply to the hearts of many young women, inspiring and empowering them to believe that they too can bring the gospel of peace to Timor-Leste.
Here is Mary Ward with Timorese traditional clothing colors with a (kaibauk) crown.
I was born in India, but after living in Australia for a number of years, I entered Loreto and was soon missioned to Timor-Leste where I have now lived for the last seven years. I feel truly blessed to experience the way the spirit of Mary Ward has a profound impact on many young women and particularly those who are journeying with us.
Rosalina Belo, our first Timorese sister who grew up in a mountain district of Timor-Leste, drew this picture to express the way Mary Ward speaks to her of freedom, strength and faith. She hopes our way of life opens up ways for many young women to “do great things”.

Young women who are journeying with us say:

  • I love Mary Ward.
  • She inspires me to talk to God as I talk to my friends.
  • She speaks of freedom, justice, confidence and truth.
  • She encourages women to be leaders equal to men.
    May we continue to keep alive the vision of Mary Ward and walk in her graced footsteps.

Selvi Adaikala IBVM

I was born in South Korea. I am a chaplain in one of the Mission Stations in the Kalookan Diocese in the Philippines. When I was given this mission, I was confident and eager to begin my ministry because I had good experiences living in intercultural communities in different countries. However, I began to feel uncomfortable since I heard the community is in a very impoverished area. Also, in this area quite often we face power outages and water scarcity. Honestly, it is not easy to manage life in this uncomfortable condition. Additionally, I was not familiar with their traditional activities related to faith practices in the church.

One day, as I was reflecting on the life of Mary Ward, I got inspiration. She met thousands of challenges in her life, but depended only on Almighty God without ceasing prayer. I came to realize that God’s power strengthens me, and I believe, all will be well, for God is near. I am following in the footsteps of Mary Ward.

I would like to say I am still in the process of “looking into others’ garden.” I am walking on the bridge of assimilation to be with and accept different cultures with love as I meet people here. Now my life at Kalookan is thankfully filled with many graces and I feel “I am blessed.”

Catharina Yim CJ

For reflection:

What is the message your feet are bringing to those you meet?
What is Mary Ward saying to you, deep in your heart?
Whom do I depend on when I meet challenges?

Share your reflection on the Padlet by clicking on the link:

CJ Generalate