Once and for all
I believe Our Lord started to call me to Himself when I was in High School. I always admired the Sisters who taught us. I said to myself how lucky they are. They spread the life, teaching and work of Our Lord; they know Him very well and I sense their love for Him and He for them. How marvellous that they are so very close to Him, if only I could share the same?! At Mass I always liked praying the “Our Father” while joining hands with the others. It felt so meaningful because our hands reached out as if in a gesture of support to others. I also felt a stirring in my heart but it wasn’t yet defined … I was also very shy and timid. I preferred being at home, with my family and helping them out. My mother tried to coax me out of my reserved nature by taking me to the market and meeting her friends but it didn’t make much difference. I was still reserved. Then my mother decided to ask a friend of hers to sponsor my studies because my parents had no means. I also worked as a helper with different families to pay my way and when I attended College, I had a second job selling cosmetics, clothes and accessories. It was hard for me at first but out of necessity, I learnt to forget myself since I had a goal. I wanted to finish my studies, get a stable job and take care of my parents for the rest of their lives. That was my only desire and then I made a bold decision to delay my studies and go abroad. I thought to myself that I would work and continue my studies after I had set aside something to improve my parents’ life first. So off I went to Singapore, there I had every Sunday off. I would go to St. Theresa’s Church, the nearest parish to my work place. I still remember the first Sunday that I attended Mass at that church, I didn’t even realise it was St. Theresa’s feast day. The parish distributed envelopes with an image of St. Theresa and some rose petals inside. I kept it until the Novitiate because I believe St. Theresa helped me to find my vocation. It was of course St. Jeanne Jugan who helped me to love and live my vocation!
Our Lord gave me an opportunity to work in Hong Kong. I decided to go ahead because I had a very good employer. But then my father passed away when I was just one month into my new employment. It was one of the hardest decisions of my life … to stay in Hong Kong or return home to take care of my mother. I chose the first because I saw not only my mother’s needs but those of my brothers’ as well. I needed to put my little self aside but I have no regrets. I am and I was very happy to see my brothers with their diplomas in hand. Then Our Lord led me to serve as an altar server at Immaculate Conception Church in Taipo, Hong Kong. It was a great joy for me every Sunday to serve Our Lord this way. What a grace I had, having all these experiences. I really thank Our Lord because I grew to love and enjoy being with others, learning lots from them and shedding my timidity and shyness … although I have to say, I am still reserved but for the Lord! I thought I had already found that place where Our Lord wanted me to be but still, He had something else planned … It took fellow altar server to point the way to my vocation … she introduced me to the Little Sisters of the Poor in Sheung Shui! When she entered the Congregation, I stopped volunteering at the Home for about six months. When my employer and the entire family went to China on vacation for a month, I was bored at home. Then it dawned on me that I could go and give a helping hand again at the Home so off I went and volunteered for three weeks. I treasure those days very much. I was very touched to see how the Sisters showed their love to the elderly. There was an elderly Sister who helped a Resident take her meal with enthusiasm and joy. Through the eyes of the Sisters, I felt I had met and encountered Our Lord in the person of the elderly poor. The call was clarifying because every time I left the Home to return home, I felt something “was missing”. I believe it was then in the silence of my heart that God spoke to me, that He was asking me to give myself fully to Him through loving and serving the elderly Poor. At first, I felt I was not worthy of His call but thankfully I realised that I am not the author of my vocation, God is! It was hard for me to leave my family especially my mother but I decided to put my trust in God, knowing in faith that even if I were to lose everything, I would find all in Him. The day I pronounced my vows to follow Jesus forever in the footsteps of Sister Mary of the Cross, I had the certainty of having received the greatest grace and great joy to love and serve the Poor elderly until my last breath. Together with her I can shout for joy “What happiness for us to be a Little Sister of the Poor”. The vow of hospitality is precious to me because in the person of the Aged Poor, it is my Spouse, my Beloved whom I serve FOREVER … and I’ll be for Himself alone! I always pray and thank the Lord for all the people who as my “stars”, guided and led me closer to Him. In God’s eyes, we are not merely a bunch of sheep, God pays special attention to each one of us. Everyone of us is important to Him and He has a unique plan in His loving Heart for each one of us!
Sr. Adona Rosario, l.s.p.