Missionary Beverly Dalton talks about looking into Mary as an example of how a mother should be.
As the eldest (I’m 33) in our Missionary Home in Manila, I feel like I have been assigned the role of a mother in my year. No one told me to take on this role but living with teenagers (I’m living with three other missionaries who are 18 and 19 years old) does make me feel like a mom to them.
The generation gap among my missionary sisters is a challenge but through them I recall my youth, my days in college, and how I felt so free of responsibilities other than my studies. This year, a new challenge comes my way and together with my sisters, I am learning to build a home where our little family of four can bond and rest together from our apostolic work.
The Gospels may not have mentioned how our dear Mother was at home but being the holy woman that she is, I can only imagine how loving and patient she must have been running a household.
What if little Jesus made a mess while eating? What if her husband Joseph, out of his tiredness, fell asleep and forgot to put away all his carpentry tools from his workshop? I can picture how Mary would have persevered gently and quietly, cleaning the mess that little Jesus made and keeping Joseph’s workshop spic and span, and then pondering all these things in her heart.
Being with Jesus and her family all the days of her life, Mary showed love for her vocation and trusted in God for His providence.
As we do the ordinary housework and as we try to create a home environment at this new place my missionary sisters and I are staying at, I hold my Mother’s hand and ask her for the grace to persevere in gentleness and in the quiet as I wait on God to form a mother’s heart in me.
Missionary Anna Stevenson reflects on her first week in Manila, Philippines–her assigned country for the year.
Anna Stevenson (middle) at the Cultural Center of the Philippines with her missionary sisters Christina Brinson (left) and Beverly Dalton (right).
As I sit in a shroud of humidity waiting to wash away the impurities of the day, I am blown away by the movement of the Holy Spirit in my life this past week. I realize, with the help of Augustine’s “Confessions”, that amidst my mistakes, the Holy Spirit was moving me to see God’s hand reaching out saying “I AM enough, come follow me.”
Getting to know the community with some fun at an interactive art museum with the consecrated.
The realities of this week were eye opening and most of them took a lot of patience both from myself and others. We live in Metro Manila which, contrary to my beliefs is not similar to New York. It is busy yet the people here are lovers of life and take time to enjoy things. I remember walking and seeing many young children playing ball in the park and thinking how simple and leisurely the life is here. Along with a change in pace, I noticed the importance that Catholic faith holds here. It is literally written on billboards and buses; there are so many Churches with Mass.
Within the school, I attended meeting after meeting and met person after person gaining only slightly more insight as I progressed. However, I am now fully aware of my mission here at Everest Academy. I will be a formation instructor of the middle school girls ages 8-13 and a Pure Fashion team leader. The mission is in full swing and I ask for your prayers as God and I embark on this year of walking on water. Know that you all are in my prayers and may God bless you and keep you steady in His arms.