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Encountering God in the Wisdom of Others


Program associate and domestic volunteer Chelsea Tanous spends Wednesday afternoons at the Gift of Peace House, a hospice care center run by the Missionaries of Charity. Today Chelsea shares how one resident helps her encounter God through weekly lessons.

Chelsea  with a resident of the Gift of Peace House

From the the importance of confession to the practical matters of spinning of pottery, I learn something new every time I visit the Gift of Peace House. My instructor is Bernice, one of the residents.

When I’m not helping with dinner or getting residents ready for bed, I hang out with Bernice. She’s teaching me the basics of crochet, and each week she checks the progress on my scarf.

I look forward to her lessons because besides crochet, she teaches me stuff that people don’t normally share — such as the significance of guardian angels or how to keep a devotion to St. Anthony. She has a great love of her faith and life which she loves sharing that with others.

I admire Bernice and her confidence. She regularly tells me that God has a plan for each of us and that there is a reason why we are where we are.

One week I was doubting God, and somehow Bernice must have known because she decided that the lesson for the day would be all about God’s infinite knowledge. He won’t let anything happen that wasn’t part of His plan or something that I couldn’t handle. She reminded me right when I needed it to always trust in God because He is good, He is the truth and He loves me.

Thanks to Bernice, God was speaking right to my heart that week. I only hope my presence can do the same to others as I continue my year of service.

To support the work of volunteers like Chelsea, please make a donation to Franciscan Mission Service this season. 

We prepare and support lay Catholics for two-year international, one-year domestic and 1-2 week short-term mission service opportunities in solidarity with impoverished and marginalized communities across the globe.

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