This past week, SPO hosted a dinner for a group of religious sisters who are coming to live in Arizona this fall, one of whom will be serving with SPO and the Newman Center. We are thrilled to be gaining another missionary to help us further the vision of SPO in Arizona. Las Siervas del plan de Dios are a new religious community from South America, and much like SPO, started a community in response to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
Sister Veronica and Mother Carmen, along with Fr. John Bonavitacola from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, joined nearly every household member at the men’s house for dinner. Over spaghetti and Caesar salad, we shared with the sisters the mission of SPO. They listened eagerly and asked thoughtful questions, causing us to reflect more deeply on the evangelistic call God has placed on our hearts. Every person who spoke with them went away with eyes wide. “Wow, they are holy,” we whispered to one another, in awe of the sincere attention they paid to each person.
Later that evening, we stood around the kitchen at the women’s house eating pie and ice cream. Eager to practice her English, Mother Carmen shared about the mission of the Servants of the Will of God, and lamented that she had to return to the motherhouse in Peru and couldn’t stay in Arizona to help with our mission. “You will be in my prayers!” she assured us.
I had the privilege to drive the sisters home that evening. As jet lagged as they were (having arrived that morning from South America) they had a hard time leaving us! As I backed out of the driveway, Sister Veronica stopped me. “Wait, I have a gift!” Reaching into the folds of her black habit, she produced a small plastic bag full of silver medals. She and Mother Carmen proudly handed each person a medal of St. Martin de Porres and St. Rose of Lima, both natives of Peru. Back in the car, Sister Veronica expressed how she felt that SPO was like a family, and how impressed she was by our dedication to community life.
Needless to say, both parties left incredibly encouraged. Not only do we feel lifted up in prayer, we feel affirmed in our mission and grateful to have a sister working side by side with us as we evangelize campus.
God is good and faithful!