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 Niño 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!