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My Mission In Honduras

Marcelle Leclerc, CND

My call

To talk about my mission in Honduras is to talk about a dream I have had since childhood.

During elementary school at the CND, once a year, the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception came to talk about their missions in China. Each time I got excited, thinking that one day I would do the same. I kept that dream to myself.

When I finished my studies, I made a retreat with these missionary sisters and I asked one of them if, upon entering their congregation, a person was sure they would go on mission. She replied that I could very well stay in the country teaching to support the missionaries abroad. That answer gave me a lot to think about. I decided to join the Congrégation de Notre-Dame by accepting to be a teacher all my life in my country, so I could avoid always being frustrated. I was seeking security for my vocation.

When the mission opened in Honduras in 1962, a new hope was born in me, but I kept it in my heart. A few years later I learned that they were looking for sisters for the mission, either in Honduras or Chile. I offered myself to the Superior General, who suggested that I think about it more and write to her at the end of the year. So, I did, and again I made myself available. I waited for a response that came 7 years later with a letter from the General Council reminding me of my previous request and asking for a response now. Once again, I discerned in front of the Blessed Sacrament and decided to renounce forever. I did not answer the letter...

A few days later, I received a phone call asking me to come to the Mother House to talk about this project. A big snowstorm did not stop me from reaching the Mother House. After listening and knowing the situation, I accepted it with great confidence.

I knew that now it was the will of God.

Departure for Central America

First stage Learning the language in Mexico. It was a time of intense studies, of initiation to the culture and the reality of the Latin people. It was also my first contact with poverty.

Second stage, Honduras. After 3 months I continued my journey to Tegucigalpa. I arrived just on time for the Posadas. This was an opportunity to participate every night in the processions and to interact with people from different sectors of San Martín de Porres parish. During the first months, I followed the sisters that worked in this parish. They collaborated with the parish priest, overseeing the catechesis of the children, the preparation for the sacraments, the liturgy, and different church activities.

Little by little I began to visit people and supported another sister in her sector. Over the years I dedicated more time to youth, and they became my priority. With them, I was able to enter families, establish good relationships, and help in happy and sad moments. Little by little, the young people took on responsibilities in the community, inviting other young people to get involved. Each sister accompanied a youth group in her sector and with time some more dedicated young people wanted to live something more and they expressed their desire to join the Congregation.

Considering this new reality and our willingness, the Congregation accepted to open a pre-novitiate. Some of our sisters organized vocational meetings to make known the community, its charism, and its foundress. These meetings were held in each sector where the sisters worked. I was asked to be responsible for vocation promotion in the region. I had to leave the parish in order to be available to visit the houses in the 2 countries. My new mission was to unify the vocational meeting program that eventually became a preparation for candidacy.

After a few years, I was asked to be director of candidacy. That mission seemed impossible to me. After a period of reflection, I understood that it was the will of the Lord and I accepted. A previous preparation helped the team of future directors of formation. With this experience, we were able to prepare and adapt the formation program to the reality of the candidates and asked for collaboration from other sisters in the region. My new mission took me to Tierra Nueva, Guatemala.

After 3 years I came back to Campo Cielo, Honduras to replace the novitiate director who had been elected to the Regional Council. During those years, the region sent some Latin sisters to prepare to be directors of candidates and novitiate directors. Little by little, we handed over the formation process to the Latin Sisters. This is how another of my life's dreams came true: to have a formation team. In 2010 my last dream came true when a council of only Latin sisters was elected.

My hopes for the Region

I believe that the seed that the daughters of Saint Marguerite have sown in the Latin Garden is growing and we can see flowers of different colors. I have great hope for the future of the Region.

For more than 10 years, the Latin sisters have been accompanying the people and have been able to respond to their needs according to their reality. They live with confidence, courage, and audacity in the absence of their older sisters, who have returned to their country of origin.

The GO, I WILL NOT ABANDON YOU continues to be the strength of the Region.

 

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