I am Sister M Shirley Jose of the Missionaries of Charity community in East Cannington.
Our order was started by Mother Teresa who is now Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.
We begin with our personal prayers in the morning. Then we have community prayer followed by meditation in our chapel. Even though I am in the chapel with my community, I feel like I am alone with Jesus. During the meditation I meet Him as a friend and He gives me the strength for the day. I thank and adore Him. We have daily Mass, Adoration, Rosary and read assigned spiritual books like Mother Teresa’s instructions.
Twice a week we take Communion to the sick, visit families and help prepare children for the Sacraments. We go out to the streets and feed the homeless. We meet the young and old. We bring food like pies, cold drinks, coffee and tea.
It is not so much that the poor are really hungry. It’s about reaching out to them so they have a chance to reach back.
Some are drug addicts and alcoholics.
Whatever their story, they feel so much at home with us. They look forward to sitting and chatting. They ask us to pray with them and we do silently.
It is a really special apostolate.
There is so much spiritual poverty in the streets. We see people longing and looking for fulfillment.
They are searching for something but they don’t know what. One man told me, “Sister, I’ve tried sex and drugs but nothing satisfied me.” I asked him if there was something more out there for him and he was sure there was.
We meet the poor and the wealthy. Those who are better off say, “Oh sister, I have everything but I don’t think that I am really happy. Something is missing.” They too are looking for something more.
We are incomplete without our spiritual side. You can manage for a while but eventually your life and sufferings become meaningless. Without God life is empty. Sometimes people slash or cut themselves because they feel so alone. Other times they become suicidal. One young man told me he was on a bridge ready to jump because he was so depressed. His girlfriend had walked out on him and he had a serious kidney problem. There was no one to talk to as he didn’t have many friends. Yet he felt that there was something holding him back from jumping that night. He said to me: “I came to the street and met you people. Maybe some goodness in you stopped me from jumping.” Before he was vicious but suddenly he became friendly. He was a very, very good man. He shared with us his hurt over his relationship breakup. God uses people to tell you He loves you.
There was another man who gave me a $5 donation towards our work. We had helped put him into Jewel House when he desperately needed accommodation for one or two nights. He told me, “Sister, don’t give me a pie today. Give it to someone who is really hungry. Thank you for what you did for me.” The Jesus that comes down from the consecration of the Host is the same Jesus that I meet in the poorest of the poor.
If you have a story to tell please contact
Debbie via firstname.lastname@example.org