November 13, 2019
Dear Sisters and those co-responsible with us in Mission,
[Yesterday] we celebrated the Feast of Mother Cabrini. In these recent days I have had various experiences which have touched my heart and soul – a gift of Jesus and Mother Cabrini on her feast
• ➢ I listened to a webinar from an organization called “No more deaths” during which they spoke of a member of the organization who was being charged with a felony simply because he provided compassionate care to two undocumented migrants he discovered in the desert. I asked myself: What has become to the moral fabric of the USA that we would criminalize compassion?
• ➢ I listened to Sr. Yolanda, MSC who returned from a meeting in Matamoros, Mexico of those organizations who give assistance to migrants along the USA-Mexico Border. My heart was filled with hope as I heard of the generous service of so many volunteers and organizations who day by day offer care and compassion to our suffering brothers and sisters. My heart was also full of deep sadness that the immigration policies of the USA have created a humanitarian crisis for hundreds perhaps thousands of men, women and children who are stranded along the Mexican border. They are living in tents, inhumane conditions, without adequate food or health care. The tragedy is the number of children! They can’t go forward and they have no money to go back home! At that moment we made a decision to try to partner with one organization who is providing much needed help.
➢ Yesterday, Sr. Antonina, Sr. Pietrina and myself joined staff and clients from CIS of NYC, together with the New York Immigration Coalition, to go to Washington, D.C. to stand in solidarity with DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) young adult recipients as they persevered in their struggle to gain a path to citizenship. We also met a group from Cabrini University!
For years this group of young people have lived in constant uncertainty that their status would change and they could be deported. The persistent hope and courage of those who are DACA recipients as well as those who fight for their cause was an incredible witness. Once again, the question surfaced in me: How is it that a nation formed and built by immigrants is now so closed to immigrants?
➢ Finally, today I listened to a webinar offered by the UISG (International Union of General Superiors) which shared the challenges, vision and horizon of CLAR (Confederation of Latin American and Caribbean Religious) for consecrated religious life for the years 2018-2021. There were many themes that confirmed our Provincial Chapter outcomes. What touched my heart was the vital call to be witnesses of Communion and Hope based on our belief in Jesus and to continue to live with enthusiasm the gift of our consecrated life as missionary disciples. We are further called to weave relationships that foster communion, reconciliation, inclusivity, and compassion. Finally, we are called to renew our option for the vulnerable and excluded of our world. For those who understand Spanish, I encourage you to go to www.clar.org and look under “Horizonte Inspirador” for more resources around these themes.
As I live these various moments, I find myself called to conversion. It is not enough for me to see or to hear/listen but my heart must be “moved to compassion” and action. Going to Washington, D.C. was one small action but I and we are called daily to go out of ourselves in love. When we go out the door of our room, our heart, our minds let us be credible witnesses – missionary disciples of God’s love in the world. If we do this – we give honor to God and honor the memory of Mother Cabrini.
Happy Feast Day!
United in the Heart of our loving God!
Sr. Diane Olmstead, MSC , Provincial, Guadalupe Province