Our sixteen-year presence in the Diocese of Jackson marked our lives, as individuals, as community, as a province, and as a congregation. Today we say thank you for all the gifts and love expressions that we have received. We are grateful for what we have offered, the seeds that we have planted and the fruits that we have reaped spread now beyond Mississippi.
The sisters who finish the Mississippi’s mission are María Eugenia Moreno, Obdulia Olivar and María Josefa García. Without a doubt, the communities where they worked, St. Therese Jackson, St. Michael Forest, and St. Martín Porres Morton were hit hard by the massive immigration raids in Aug. 2019 and now by COVID-19. The Forest and Morton communities, where Sisters Obdulia and María Eugenia operated were severely affected. Scott County was one of the hardest hit affecting many Hispanic families, who fought two enemies at the same time.
The churches became gathering places, national and local aid, moral and economic support. The sisters became mothers, counselors, bridges, resources, and all together with them they mourned their losses and advocated for them. Almost in a year the community that they helped to build for years has literally fallen apart. Many families moved out of the state and the church as a mother had been trying to pick up what had fallen, and the sister along with it.
With our gratitude we tell them that they will always be in our hearts, in our prayer and will be part of our life as a congregation. We say goodbye with Psalm 126:
When the Lord restored the captives of Zion,
We thought we were dreaming.
Then our mouths were filled with laughter;
our tongues sang for joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord had done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us;
Oh, how happy we were!
Restore our captives, Lord,
like the dry stream beds of the Negeb
Those who sow in tears
will reap with cries of joy.
Those who go forth weeping,
carrying sacks of seed,
Will return with cries of joy,
carrying their bundled sheaves.
We too are crying, carrying the sheaves of so many wonderful people who accompanied and grew up with us around the entire Diocese of Jackson.
Ana Gabriela Castro, Yesenia Fernández, Gabriela Ramírez, María Josefa García, María Eugenia Moreno, Obdulia Olivar, Magdalena Carrillo, María Elena Méndez and all Sisters of the Missionary Guadalupanas of the Holy Spirit.