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Life in Peru

 Doreen Glynn CSJ

Sister Doreen Glynn working with a student

Life in the Vice Province of Peru is never dull. It might be described as a bit ordinary, but never dull. Every day presents a new challenge. After spending two months in Tacna with our sisters in the Trinitaria Community, I returned to the community of the Gran Amor de Dios in Canto Chico, Lima.

In Tacna, I accompanied the sisters on a few occasions at the Fe y Alegria School, enjoying the Mother’s Day celebration the male teachers prepared for the female teachers, joined a prayer service and meeting of parents on Palm Sunday and one with students on Easter Monday. Helping with the sale of the school’s sportswear, which serves as a kind of school uniform, allowed me to engage with parents, students and teachers during this time. I was often moved by their sharing of the difficult situations they faced with faith and hope. Our sisters have been engaged in this very inspiring Jesuit-based education for many years in both Tacna and Lima. Today, many former students are leaders in the community. While I was in Tacna, we experienced several temblores, or minor earthquakes, strong enough, though, to make us scurry out of the house into the street.

In Canto Chico, three times a week, our front room is full of food products from the food bank. After sorting it and making sure it is fit to give out, we call the participants of the common kitchens and various destitute families to come with their big market bags to receive it. It is often after 10 p.m. in the evening when we have completed the distribution and the cleanup. The food can’t arrive here until evening because in the afternoons from 2:30-5:30 p.m. our front room is filled with students doing their homework with the help of five university students who when they were in primary school were here doing their homework.

In both local communities, I experienced meaningful daily common prayer, delicious typical Peruvian dishes prepared right at home and an occasional outing. So, pass the days and the weeks, very ordinary, but never dull.

Category: Reflections, Stories

1 thought on “Life in Peru”

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    I have been in correspondence with Sister Mary Kay K whom I knew in Mojo, Peru. I have recently published my memoir Where Dogs Dwell and have written about a maternity case I did in the convent in Mojo. Mary Kay and Alma were present for that delivery.
    It’d be so nice to be in contact with Alma and see if she remembers this situation. Unfortunately I don’t think Sister Mary Kay remembers. I keep losing contact with her by email.
    Would be grateful in you could put me in contact with Sister Alma. At the time I was in Mojo I was a RNDM sister from Ilo, Peru
    Thank you…Kathleen (I live in Courtenay, BC Canada now

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The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet are a congregation of Catholic sisters. We, and those who share our charism and mission, are motivated in all things by our profound love of God and our dear neighbors. We seek to build communities and bridge divides between people. Since our first sisters gathered in 1650, our members have been called to “do all things of which women are capable.” The first sisters of our congregation arrived in St. Louis, Missouri in 1836, and we now have additional locations in St. Paul, Albany, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Japan and Peru. Today, we commit to respond boldly to injustice and dare to be prophetic.


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