Two sisters from Ecuador visit the USA, from April 18-29, 2017.
We recently had the visit of two Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother, Sr. Elena Braghin and Sr. Teresa Castilla, who came to the United States from their communities in Ecuador. The goal of the trip was clear: to thank the people who had helped our mission houses after last year’s earthquake, and to share the story of Sr. Clare’s life. The Sisters began their apostolic journey in Miami, FL., where they were invited to talk to millions of radio listeners on Radio Paz, a Catholic, Hispanic radio station based out of Miami. Also in Miami the Sisters gave several presentations about the events that took place after the earthquake and about Sister Clare’s life. After their time in there, the Sisters continued their trip up to Jacksonville, FL., where the community of Servant Sisters was eagerly awaiting their arrival. In Jacksonville, the Sisters were able to visit the children of Assumption Catholic School and talk to the Young people of Bishop Kenny High School. The Sisters especially wanted to give a big thank you to the faithful of Assumption Catholic Church. Many of the parishioners, staff, students, and parents of the students personally knew Sister Clare and responded with overabundant generosity to the needs of Holy Family School in Playa Prieta.
The purpose of the Sisters trip was precisely to personally thank all those who have kept us in their prayers ever since Ecuador was hit last year by the devastating earthquake on April 16, 2016. Sr. Elena was one of many who witnessed the aftermath of the earthquake on Holy Family School in Playa Prieta. ¨We are tremendously grateful,¨ Sister Elena said, ¨for the countless people who were praying for us, especially in the days following the earthquake.¨ During that time of intense searching and rescuing the sisters from under the rubble, the search team did not stop to eat, drink, or sleep for 48 hours. ¨It was especially during those days that I felt the strength of so many prayers, I felt that your prayers were sustaining me, because I didn´t feel tired nor hungry in those moments, and I had the strength to keep going.¨
The Servant Sisters came to thank all those who had prayed for them, but also those who had helped materially. To many it seems like a miracle that the school has been almost completely rebuilt within the last year. ¨We remember when parents were registering their children for the upcoming school year at Holy Family School; one of the mothers had asked us, ‘Sister, I just have one question…where are our children going to have class?’ Of course, there were no classrooms at that point. We had to have class under a mango tree, in the neighbor´s patio, wherever we could. But now the school is built and it seems as though it’s more beautiful than before. We can only give thanks to God for the generosity of so many people throughout the world.¨
With all of this being said, there is still so much to be done. The Sisters have yet to build their own house and along with several classrooms. Together with the rebuilding of the new school, it seems that the Lord has wanted to use the life of Sister Clare and the candidates to manifest His glory. The story of Sister Clare has been a message of hope for all those who hear about her. ¨I have to say that no matter where we go, when we talk about Sister Clare’s life, people are always profoundly moved and you can tell that the Lord is pouring out many graces in the hearts of those who hear about her life.¨ We give thanks for all those who have kept us in their prayers and we ask that they continue to pray for the needs of the Holy Family School, for there is still so much to be done. With hearts full of gratitude we can only respond with a more generous “yes” to the Lord. “How can I repay the Lord for all the good done for me? I will raise the cup of Salvation and I will call on the name of the Lord.”
The Sisters who organized the trip from the community in Jacksonville, Florida stated, “God providentially put so many kind and generous people in our path to help us with this trip. From the outset of the journey, many people from the Miami International Airport, Copa Airlines, and the Miami Consulate of Spain aided the flight of the Sisters coming from Guayaquil. We would also like to thank the Knights of Columbus of Coral Gables and Radio Paz. We are so grateful to them, and for the hospitality of the people who took us in their homes during our travels and provided for all our needs. We are very thankful for everyone’s support in this endeavor to continue helping our brothers and sisters in Ecuador!”
If you feel moved to help out with our missions in Ecuador or want to know more about Sister Clare and our candidates you can go to the following links: