Sunday, 21 May 2017

Organ donors

Last night I stayed up a bit late to receive Sr Mary ____ FMA who was coming to give a talk to the Salesian cooperators today.  While I gave her company during her supper, she narrated some of her most cherished memories of this place, Chertsey.

I knew that this place where we Salesians now have our residence was actually of the Salesian Sisters, but what I did not know was that it was their Provincial house for donkeys years.  For almost 7 to 8 decades this was their Provincial house!!  And Sr Mary recalled that the place where our Chapel is, was their Chapel too but made of tin for many many years ... and it is there that very many of the Sisters made their perpetual profession!!

She remembered with nostalgia, how the early local vocations were sent to New Jersey or other missions in the States, besides India, and Australia to help with the English language.  Somehow the superiors then did not think much of developing the English province.  They were not too sure of getting quality and quantity vocations from a predominantly protestant context!  So those few who joined were sent to build up already established mission centres elsewhere.

Quite a few were sent to the States because the Italian community which the FMAs (themselves Italians) catered to wanted their next generation to be adept not only in Italian but English as well. Hence the need for 'English speaking' Sisters!  

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