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Archive for July, 2011

SCs in Ecuador

This Saturday morning I will be flying with Tracy Kemme to Guayaquil, Ecuador. We are invited to take part in an experience with the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill, Greensburg, PA. Their Korean province sponsors a mission in the town of Pedro Carbo, an hour and a half from Guayaquil. They offer medical services and a school for children and adults with special needs. I was invited to “consult” with the Sisters about their ministries and also to offer a retreat day for the staff about the charism of the Sisters of Charity. Because Tracy served as a volunteer with Rostro de Cristo near Guayaquil in 2008-2010 and has actually visited Pedro Carbo, I asked if she could accompany me. The two of us are going a week ahead of the Sisters who are coming from Greensburg and Korea so we will have time to visit Tracy’s former ministry. I will go to the mission in Pedro Carbo to spend some extra days with the Korean SCs who staff the clinic and school before everyone else arrives. It will be very interesting as the common language for most of us will be Spanish.

One of the most exciting parts of this adventure for me is the opportunity to collaborate at a ministerial level with other Sisters of Charity. The congregation in Greensburg was founded from ours in Cincinnati. In the 1950s a Columban Missionary priest/bishop from the Pittsburg area asked the Greensburg SCs to send Sisters on mission in Korea. Now the Korean province is of a size equal to the U.S. province. The Korean Sisters see those of us from Cincinnati as their “grandmothers”! Our own Sisters from Cincinnati served in Ecuador in the 1970s and 80s.

Our futures may be even more connected than our past as the next generations of Sisters of Charity seek out more ways to collaborate in mission and ministry. My hope is that at some point some of the Korean SCs will come to New Mexico to experience our Santo NiƱo Project in Anapra and that there will be still more opportunities to explore our common charism through St. Elizabeth Seton, Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac.
Watch for further adventures of a Sister of Charity in Ecuador when I return on August 2!

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field of dreams 2

At this time of the summer the garden is a happy place to be. Weeds are still under control and the plants are looking robust despite our hot dry windy days. I’ve picked the first zucchini and am looking forward to eating it- in contrast to later in the summer when I’ve used every recipe I know to disguise them and can’t even give them away.
There are a few little tomatoes and lots of blossoms on the plants.

I try not to think about the changes that always come as the summer moves along. The pests: squash bugs and the dreaded tomato worms. The problems that mystify me year after year like leaf curl and bottom rot.

This year as always I am totally amazed at God’s providence when it comes to garden surprises. My “field of dreams” corn patch had about a fifty-percent germination and some stalks are just about “knee high by the fourth of July”. Pretty good by my Indiana standards! But the most amazing thing in my field of dreams is not what I planted but what God planted: watermelon, canteloupe, zucchini, acorn squash and some squash-like plants that only “by their fruits ye shall know them”. When I prepared the soil I was generous with compost from our kitchen scraps. I also tossed in the unsuccessful peat pots where the seeds never germinated, just to get some extra topsoil. I was intending to plant some melons once the corn sprouted but God beat me to it! My field of dreams wasn’t wonderful enough for God.

God is so “outside the box”. As if it wasn’t enough to fill up my little patches of garden with extra flowers and vegetables, I noticed some suspicious activity at the base of a Rose of Sharon tree that our friends Annette and Hector transplanted by our storage shed. As I was pulling some weeds I found several seedlings of the squash/melon variety thriving in the wet soil. One of them is the sturdiest and largest plant on the property. I’ve been waiting and wondering exactly what it would produce. Almost overnight two acorn squash have appeared!

These are midsummer garden parables. They feed my soul even before the harvest.

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