My first community was named "Duchesne," and it was on the Feast of Philippine that I entered the novitiate in the Philippines. Since then Philippine has had a place in my heart, and I have been deeply inspired by her life of prayer and zeal for mission. From her story, I learned that her first desire for mission was to go to my country but that God had another plan for her. With all these connections, I felt close to her and often turned to her for help.
Four years ago, after my final profession, I was sent to my homeland for mission. I was excited but also filled with fear and uncertainty. I was afraid of being alone, without a community. Also, my presence was no longer just as an individual but as a member of the Society. This was a weight on my heart.
On the airplane, I read a small book written by Janet Erskine Stuart, RSCJ. Each word spoke to me deeply. I started to feel the strong connection with the Society and especially the presence of Sophie and Philippine. I conversed with them about many things, especially on the life of prayer and on "failure," the latter often Philippine’s experience. This gave me much strength and courage for the journey.
Before leaving the plane, I realized that I was in a community of three – Sophie and Philippine had joined me. Together we would start a new mission. This mission is now called the Duchesne Project. How blessed I am to be a member of this community!
Stella S., RSCJ, Province of Korea-Chinese
Image: Andrei Rublev