Bring a few Ursuline Sisters and 7 alums of Ursuline schools across the USA to a HOPE-filled place, and you get a service experience filled with meaning and joy. Haven for Hope lists as its core values: radical compassion, servant leadership, hope and excellence. We witnessed each of these and were amazed by so much goodness. Click here for a short video showing a little of the beauty and grace of the week.
Today was our day to go out into the city and experience the culture of San Antonio. We started at Mission San Jose. We were able to see the church, which is still used for mass today, and the Visitors’ Center. At the Visitors’ Center we watched a video on the history of the Mission, how it was established, and the consequences of mission life on the native peoples. Next, we visited the Alamo, commonly referred to as “The Shrine of Texas Liberty”. We walked down the River Walk until 5 pm when we attended mass at San Fernando Cathedral.
Tonight we reflected on our week here in San Antonio. We focused on three main questions: what was most rewarding, how was I most challenged, and two things we learned about ourselves. Many of us stated that serving the people at Haven for Hope was both the most rewarding and challenging experience of the trip. Going outside of our comfort zones was difficult but was by far the most worthwhile part of the trip.
Although we are leaving tomorrow, we hope to stay in touch with one another and continue building our friendships with our fellow Ursuline sisters.
May the light shine upon our travels,
Brittany and Hope
The last time you heard from us it was only our first day of serving, and here we are recapping our fourth day of service and feeling nostalgic about our last. The past few days we have worked in the garden, served in the kitchen, soul friend-ed in the court yard, and rode along on outreach. Making this service trip special was the spiritual and mental work that has impacted our lives as much as we hope to have impacted the lives of others.
Tuesday night Ashley whipped up chicken cutlets, mashed potatoes, corn, and a side serving of our guest visitor Sister Madeline, another Ursuline sister from San Antonio. Wednesday evening we explored the Mexican Market Place, and ate at the tourist attraction: Mi Tierra. The market was highly enjoyed by all, as we all came home with goodies. For some it was the first time experiencing authentic Mexican food, and it was tasty. Later in the evening a few adventurous souls headed to the River Walk, and floated and boated on the world famous boating tours. The string lights overhead accompanied by the comical commentary from our tour guide made the experience one of a kind.
Till next time…
Kayla, Lauren, & Kate
Happy 4th of July! May God bless America and every inch of this precious Planet Earth!
Young people often ask what it is I like most about being Ursuline. One thing that’s highest on my list is our internationality. When there are urgent needs in other countries, I often know real people affected or involved in response efforts. To me, that’s an awesome thing. Here are a few examples from just the last few months:
From an Ursuline in Austria helping refugees: “I am sending photos so you can see what our schools have done with the money your schools sent. There is one of a mother and her children in bed. This is because the girl got completely ‘new legs’. She had to learn how to walk with them. During her time in Syria her school was bombed and she lost her legs. She started in our school last September. With the gift money, they bought the most important things for school: bags, books, pencils . . . ”
From Peru, where our sisters are working with flood victims: “Peru is facing one of the strongest devastations seen in recent decades. Rains, floods and landslides have affected 20 of the country’s 25 regions. These have left families homeless or with damaged houses, isolated cities, damaged or destroyed roads, lost cultivation areas and crops. It is a continuous storm that makes its way through our cities, destroying or damaging everything in its path. It seems as if Jesus is asleep and His disciples try to stay on course.”
And from Venezuela, where Ursulines live among an oppressed people: “The Venezuelan opposition continues to reject the rupture of the constitutional order and the national constituent assembly. Since the middle of April, violence and repression have increased considerably; 95 deaths have been registered in 80 days of conflict; more than 3,000 have been injured by various means – by shooting, water cannon and asphyxiation by tear gas. At least 250 civilians have been processed through military courts, violating due process and international standards of human rights.”
Jesus is not asleep, my Sisters. He is in the boat with you, and we are, too!