By candlelight

Becca Olek writes her third account of missions in Haiti...

Five small candles and the sanctuary lamp dimly glow in the Missionaries of Charity’s chapel. Nine sisters, less than half the community, and all fourteen of us from mission youth kneel together for a holy hour.

Here I am to worship.

Bare feet. No kneelers or chairs. I simply sit on the floor as I am before the altar that holds my king.

Here I am to bow down.

There is no priest for exposition or benediction – the sisters have no chaplain of their own. They rely on the availability of the parish priests even for daily mass. But the visiting mother provincial exposes and reposes the Blessed Sacrament with profound reverence.

Here I am to say that you’re my God.

We pray the rosary slowly together, various accents blending together to make up this unique family. All together we come from the US, Mexico, and Haiti, India, Rwanda, Wales, and others that I will never know. These sisters offer to God tonight all they are for the poorest of the poor. Behind them we offer our gratitude for our mission experience thus far – it has been more then at least I could hope for.

You’re altogether lovely, altogether worthy.

I’ve heard it said so many times, “At missions you receive so much more than you give.”I hate clichés, but this one is true. All I’ve done is try to love whoever is in front of me, nothing of real consequence, not like the medical missionary group that stays with back at the Hostel. But ours is a more of a mission of the heart.

Altogether wonderful to me.

It’s an interesting experience, discovering I’m not the hero I dreamed myself to be. But knowing this seems to free me up to be the hero that God wants me to be. Real heroes are hidden, like these sisters kneeling before me known only by those they serve. And now, as we sing here before the Eucharist, I find in the chorus the purpose of my coming.

Here I am to worship. Here I am to bow down. Here I am to say that you’re my God. You’re altogether lovely, altogether worthy, altogether wonderful to me.

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© Legionaries of Christ 2015.

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