One year ago, five individuals made a decision to leave the comforts of home, family, and friends to serve a ministry of presence with the people of Bolivia. Over the year they’ve dealt with the many challenges and joys on their mission journey. Last week, they came together for a retreat to regroup and reflect on their time in service and solidarity with the poor.
The five traveled by bus alongside their two visitors, Rhegan Hyypio and Fr. Joe Nangle, who came to Bolivia to spend time with the missioners, accompany them in their individual ministries, and to lead a retreat for them. The group arrived at the Casa de Oracion (which translates: “house of prayer”) at 10:30 AM on Thursday, January 13th. They were greeted by Las Hijas de Santa Ana (Daughters of St. Anne), who provided hospitality to them during their time on retreat.
The focus of the retreat was “Incarnation as Journey” and allowed the missioners to reflect on the life of Christ as a means of examining their lives and time as a missioners. In one year of their mission journey, they’ve experienced both the joys and the trials of life in mission. They were able spend the retreat sharing stories and reflecting on their experiences with one another.
During the retreat, they each designed their own “Canticle of Creation.” Like St. Francis who wrote “The Canticle of the Creatures”, each of the missioners brought their own talents in art, design, photography, and writing to create a canticle that described the joys of their mission journey.
The missioners departed from La Casa de Oracion on January 15th to return to their work and service in Cochabamba. Now they embark on their second year as FMS missioners, persevering in the spirit of St. Francis as they carry out their ministries.
Catherine Giller enjoys the peace and quiet of La Casa de Oracion.