Ministry in Fort St. James
"So here I am – responding to our call to live our life with simplicity and compassion among our people here in Fort St. James."
In my ministry here at Fort St. James, B.C., I serve men, women and children who are in need of love and compassion and I strive to share our CSJ charism of unifying love in many ways.
What has brought me here? My retreat in July 2014 pointed me in this direction. I meditated on Matthew 10:1-7 and 2 Corinthians 12:1-2. It was a very grace-filled experience for me as I really felt God telling me to go the place where I am most needed — to serve those in need among the people of Fort St. James — these who are suffering from addictions, abuse and neglect. I took the risk.
I have been supported by the words of one of our Sisters, Sister Mary Peter. Her constant message to me when she was still alive was: “God will not take you to a place where God’s grace is not there to sustain you. Go and preach the gospel with your life.” So here I am — responding to our call to live our life with simplicity and compassion among our people here in Fort St. James.
This ministry is important. Pope Francis is constantly telling us to go to the margins and fringes of society, to where people most need our presence and to hear the message of the Gospel. This has been my inspiration as well as Matthew 25: “When I was hungry, you gave me to eat, when I was thirsty, you gave me to drink, when I was in prison you visited me.”
Let me share one of the moments in this ministry. On January 28, 2015, Fr. Frank and I along with four family members visited two of our young people who are in jail at Prince George. This day marked the first anniversary of the death of their mother whose funeral they had been unable to attend. These two young people, brother and sister, were not allowed to be together for the two years that they had been in prison. When they saw each other, they hugged and cried and we cried with them. We had a feast of moose stew and bannock. They thanked us for being there with them and for them. At this time, I felt so blessed to see love in action no matter what the state of life or lifestyle we are in. I am so blessed to be able to “serve our people in simplicity and compassion.”
Sister Divinia Pedro CSJ