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A Year of Silver Celebrations

Last year and in various ways, Susana Campos celebrated her Silver Jubilee, the twenty-five years since her first vows in Chile in 1989. One year on as she travels once more to visit family and friends in Chile she reflects on the experience and continues to give thanks.

Abba …all is yours

Abba…todo te pertenece…todo es tuyo

I give thanks for my life, and for the continual invitation I receive from the wellspring of love, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. My Jubilee year was a chance to reflect on this and all the people I have been given to love throughout my life. I give thanks for the treasure I have been invited to hold in earthen vessels....

My jubilee began with my last visit to Chile a year ago. I met up with some of the first companions on my journey. We met in Lenga, a small fishing town near the city of Concepcion. With the amigos from the JUFRA, the Franciscan youth movement we belonged to we sang once again the song we always used to sing all those years ago, Lenga en el Corazon, (Lenga in my heart). We shared many warm memories of the times we spent together in the 1980s, with the children and families with whom we were working with during the Summer Missions.

It was in Lenga that I first met a Sister of La Retraite, Geneviève, who passed on to me something of the fulfilment and contentment of living in a relationship with God and all the sisters and brothers with whom we share our lives.

Another opportunity to give thanks when I was at home in Chile was at a Mass with my Mother and family. Offering there the grapes ripened by the sun and breaking together the bread of life, my thoughts were once again ‘Abba... all is yours’, and I felt tremendous gratitude for friends and all the people I had met over the years in Lorenzo Arenas, Concepcion, Hualpencillo and Osvaldo Munoz in Talcahuano, Los Nogales in Santiago, Rahue Alto in Osorno, Renca in Santiago, before coming to Ireland and to Galway.

Later on, in the Summer, there was a celebration with a group of La Retraite sisters in Monserrat, Spain during a Pilgrimage ‘In the footsteps of Ignatius’ and after a moment of prayer in Our Lady’s shrine I again felt the invitation to accept Christ’s invitation to follow him more and more. ‘My grace is all you need…’ (2 Cor. 12:9)

Then in the Autumn I met with another group of La Retraite sisters in Weston-super-Mare, where in the peace of a time of prayer together we were in communion with every one of our sisters in the Congregation.

Throughout the year I also had the opportunity and grace of meeting many friends here in Galway, from the migrant communities, from Sonas, the centre for elderly people run by COPE-Galway. I had good times too with younger friends from the La Retraite Camino group preparing the last section of the Camino to Santiago and Finisterre we’ll be walking later on this Summer.

Abba, thank you… all is yours…

Or in the words of the Chilean poet and singer, Violeta Parra:

‘Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto
Me ha dado la marcha de mis pies cansados
Con ellos anduve ciudades y charcos,
Playas y desiertos montañas y llanos
Y la casa tuya, tu calle y tu patio’.

Thank you Lord, as I look back on these 25 years and the celebrations last year I know, throughout the various ups and downs and in often mysterious and unexpected ways that you have always been at my side.

And thank you too Lord for all the surprises I know you will certainly have in store for me as I continue the journey...

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