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By Sr Alicia Alambra FMM
Sr Alicia Alambra FMM is a member of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary http://www.fmm.org/. She has written before for Misyon, from Bolivia.
Change is everywhere especially these days of autumn when the leaves of the
trees turn yellow, orange, red, pink, brown and are later blown off by the
So my life this year is totally different than during my previous missions in Rome and Chile-Bolivia. I arrived in the USA province on 21 May, the birth anniversary of our foundress, Blessed Mary of the Passion, and in the receiving room or sala of our Manhattan convent her photo touched me with the message ‘We need missionaries’. This gave me the impetus to open myself to whatever He sends me. But as I look back, I was always surprised at how God has designed his ways for me: like the autumn leaves with their beauty. He continues to surprise and delight me with the gift and warmth of my Sisters, my new responsibilities and my experiences of daily adjustments and adapting to the culture.
The beauty of autumn is very visible here in the northeast of the USA and in
Canada. Even our Halloween celebration features decorations from the different produce of the land. This celebration is a thanksgiving for the great harvest from agriculture.
This occasion graced also the ‘harvest’ of my new community of Sisters of different ancestry - Lithuanian, French, Irish, Indian-Goanese, Vietnamese and English. My superior is Sister Alma, our former Superior General.
The most abrupt change came to me when, on the spot, I was named Vocation Director. This entails going to the different states to promote and recruit vocations. Now I have been joining vocation promoters’ meetings in New York, Rhode Island and New Jersey.
As I go to the different activities, I have learned to find my way by bus,
train, subway and car, through the use of maps. Adjusting to the culture is part of my entry to the province and I am enjoying coming to know the history of the
USA, of the Church there and the reason for the birthing of the USA province.
Lately I attended religious sessions held in the Archdiocese of Boston and a
weekend seminar for formators in Riverdale, New York.
We were 48 participants from different states, and from Guam, Canada and
Rome. The seminar helped us reflect deeply on the encouraging viability of
religious life founded on prayer, community and mission. Hoping that you enjoy
the accompanying photos, may I end my sharing with this prayer:
O Lord, it is said that you have created people, nurture in me the song of a lover, the boldness of a prophet, the courage of a disciple.
Be with me as I live out my MISSION and MY STORY.
You may email Sister Alicia at email@example.com