I am always amazed by missionaries who, in different countries, gave their life and continue to give their life for the Kindom of God. On October 2, 1989, three missionaries arrived in the Philippines carrying with them the seed of faith, of hope and of love to make Jesus Wisdom known to the Filipinos regardless of their status in life.
Sr. Sylvie Bélanger, DW along with two other Canadian sisters, Srs. Lise Leriche and Liane Rainville, took the risk and accepted the challenge to leave her beautiful country in order to respond to Wisdom calling her to share Her love to countless people in the Philippines. Being sent to an unknown place, she was also aware that one day she would have to leave the place, the people, the ministry that she loves while never forgetting the numerous memories of these years of dedication.
In a span of 15 years, Sr. Sylvie shared herself, her giftedness and skills in many different ways as Respondant and Regional Superior, as Novice Mistress, as local Superior, as nurse helping at the clinic of St. Martin De Porres serving the poor people around the parish, as volunteer involved in the sponsorship program for poor students and in home visitation during weekends. Even if she was involved in educational projects, the nurse inside of her big heart could always be seen at work for the sisters and the sick people in need of her care. Because Wisdom was present and active in her day to day experience of joys, pains, surprises, and challenges, she let herself be strengthened and transformed. Her love and care left in us a mark of hope and inspiration to continue the work she started with us. Her love of beauty, her joy, her attentiveness, her welcoming spirit, her simplicity somehow still inspire me today to ponder in gratitude on the love of Wisdom manifested in Sr. Sylvie and through her actions.
To you Sr. Sylvie, thank you for sharing your life and your gifts with us, for helping us experience and share the compassionate love of Jesus Wisdom. May you continue to bloom in your own country, in your new ministry. May we remain forever in communion with one another, striving to become loving prophets of hope wherever we are called to serve, as the song reminds us “Bloom where you are planted.”
Sr. Henedina Latayada, DW