losmorris (losmorris) wrote,

A visit from a Sister of Mercy

We had a special visitor in our humble home and our "gift" to all visitors is a picture on the blog. (Apologies to Larry and Marilyn Dale as we forgot our camera that night.) Our most recent guest was Deborah Watson, RSM of the Sisters of Mercy, Burlingame. Deborah is a long term friend of Lillian Murphy, RSM the CEO of Mercy Housing (my former employer and favorite U.S. based non profit) with ties going back to the Novitiate. Ah the tales she could no doubt share! As we were in the pre-Christmas mode, Deborah had the privilege of being the first posed shot in front of our Christmas tree:

Deborah is doing important work in the Puno area and is based out of Chimbote. Since this is an opportunity to share some information on her community's good work I will do so at this link:

Among the works done by Mission are parish work in 2 communities, sponsor of counseling for at-risk girls in public high school, sponsor of a Center for Occupational Education for women, creation of an animan raising cooperative improving the number and quality of farm animals owned by families, sponsor of an alternative medicine health center and so much more.

following is a letter from Deborah in the "Mercy in Peru" newsletter:

Dear Friends,

We are at a pivotal moment in the history of our Mission in Peru. Forty-two years after the first Burlingame sisters of Mercy arrived in Puno, we have joined with the other Mercys who came after us from other parts of the U.S. Even more significantly, we have welcomed Peruvian women into our Congregation. Today our Institue of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas numbers 21 women in Peru, seven North Americans and 14 Peruvians.

While numbers are not always the most important way of measuring growth and effectiveness, these numbers do represent an increasing capacity to respond to need - very much in the spirit of Catherine McAuley and of our North and South American foundresses.

Your generous support throughout these 42 years has made our works possible. Today we continue to respond to some of the world's poorest people in some very remote and often abandoned areas. Three regions share in the financial responsibility for our mission in Peru. Each region needs to raise $94,000 annually to support our sisters and their ministry in education, healthcare and parish work.

Madali is a 21-year old mother dying of AIDS. She moved from the mountains to the city of Chimbote as a young child and dropped out of school when she was in the third grade. Her mother needed her to take care of the other children. She was abandoned by her husband when their child was born and Madali was diagnosed with HIV. She returned to her parents' dirt-floor home where the hospice team and I assisted her.

Ministries such as this one continue even while we are educating our your Sisters. Five women are still in the initial formation process as novices and postulants, and their study and preparation must be financed. In addition we have four Sisters in temporary vows studying for undergraduate degrees.

Fortified by youthful Mercy energy and by a strong desire to walk in the footsteps of Jesus of Nazareth and Catherine McAuley, we count on your support as we continue to grow in our capacity to serve God's poor and needy in Peru.

With gratitude and affection, Sister Deborah Watson, RSM

contact info for those with interest is via annejohnson@mercyburl.org

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