[Province of Madrid Santa Luisa] From June 8th to July 15th a Vocational Service Encounter took place in “Residencia La Esperanza” for young women with the motto “Serve: to make mercy alive“. We could not ignore the jubilee year of Mercy, called by Pope Francis, a theme so incorporated in our Vincetian Spirituality. This marked the objectives of the experience:
- Knowing some works of the Daughters of the Charity of the Province of Madrid Santa Luisa, coming closer to discovering Mercy.
- Living the experience of mercy serving poor persons and discovering the service of the Daughters of the Charity.
- Getting to know the vocation of the Daughters of the Charity.
- Valuing the Faith as a means to open us to discover the sense of our life.
- To live together and share experiences with other young women.
Ten young women participated and had the opportunity to know some of our works and to offer their simple service in the Rosalía Rendu Residencia and the Soup Kitchen of the Saint Vincent of Paul Center.
The day opened with morning prayer that gave a thread to what would be the development of the day. At the beginning of the afternoon, catechesis was preceded by sharing about the morning’s service. It was always an important moment to give meaning to their experience from Faith.
Then we studied a topic or heard the testimony of a Sister. Sister Teodora, a missionary in Madagascar, told us about the work the Sisters do there in Health service to lepers. Sister Miriam, Director of Casa de Belen, shared about her service where some of the young women have a music workshop and do painting with young sick children. The day closed with night prayer, marked by reading the next day’s Gospel and giving thanks to Our Lord. Cultural moments of dialogue and encounter completed the time of service and kept the tone that, from the beginning, was walking the paths of mercy of the gospel in a deeper way.
Some of the testimonies of the young women from their evaluation on the last day:
“This encounter awoke in me the beauty that it is to be devoted to the service of others, from simplicity, from love and from God.”
“For me, it meant coming closer to God in a totally different way, reaching Him in the happiness of helping, supporting and with affection towards others”.
“In prayer I have meditated about what I have lived.”
“In the first place, I thank the Sisters who facilitated this experience for each one of us and welcomed us in each service…”
“I believe that it has made me grow in my Faith and my place in life.”
“I got to know myself a little more.”
“I was able to see the face of Jesus reflected in each one of the children.”
“Thank you for making this a unique and unrepeatable experience.”
“It helped me to meditate, to try to do good and to help people in need.”
“I have grown as a person.”
“I will keep with me the goodness I have seen in the Church.”
The Sisters who accompanied these young women said: we are grateful for being able to do this service. Without a doubt it has helped us to reinforce our convictions, to awaken something different from what society suggests, and to grow always in fidelity and devotion.
Thank you to the Sisters of the Provincial House, to the communities and to those who in any way collaborated with the young women who had the joy of service.