Proclaiming the Good News
In the Summer 2015 edition of Catholic Missions in Canada Magazine, Sister Divinia Pedro CSJ reflected on her ministry in Fort St. James, British Columbia.
"Go into all the world and proclaim the good news." — Mark 16:15
In responsorial psalm above, taken from Mark 16:15, we are invited to go into the world and proclaim the Good News — to proclaim the Gospel. How can we make this possible? I believe that we do not have to travel to a Third World country to feed the hungry and clothe the naked. We can do these acts of kindness where we are — where we live.
When I first visited Fort St. James, British Columbia, in September 2009, Sister Pat Macaulay CSJ invited me to give Holy Communion on Fridays. I was surprised that when we came to the house of one of our elders — Evalie Murdock — her door was not locked, and she said to us, “Come in, Sisters.”
At the same time, I was also delighted because this is how we grew up in the Philippines — our doors were always open, even to strangers. Evalie welcomed me and she made me feel at home. It is just like Jesus speaking to her: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”
Sister Divinia Pedro CSJ seated with Corina Bjork, left, and Carmen Bird, who
participated in her sessions on ‘Journeying Through Grief and Loss Together.’
In almost all the houses I entered, I was offered something to eat or drink. In these encounters, I hear Jesus’ words: “I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was hungry and you gave me to eat.” Serving at our local soup kitchen is one of God’s ways of inviting us to be with our less fortunate sisters and brothers. Our street people taught me how to love, to accept and to see the face of God in everyone I meet. And I thank our pastor, Oblate Father Frank Salmon, for inviting us to this ministry over two years ago.
The Bereavement Team which Sister Pat started gave me the blessing and the opportunity to console and to support our people who are grieving, as I shared the gift of myself—my presence — to those to whom God asks me to serve and to love.
The Tuesday Night Reflection Group, which was begun by Sister Pat Boucher CSJ, has also been a tremendous gift in my life here at Fort St. James. There are many other ways with which you and I have proclaimed the Good News to one another. You have shown me the love of God by the way you live and love and by making me feel that I really belong here. You did, as St. Francis said, “Preach the Gospel: Use words when necessary.”
Sister Divinia Pedro CSJ singing with parishioner Bev Playfair.
As Mother Teresa said: I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I do know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, He will not ask, “How many good things have you done in your life? Rather, He will ask: “How much love did you put into what you did?” And you are all capable of giving love. God is always with us on our journey.
Sister Divinia Pedro CSJ
This is an abridged version of the reflection given by Sister Divinia Pedro CSJ to the people of Fort St. James, British Columbia. She is a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto and her community ministered to the area for six years, from 2007 to 2013. She continues to serve in the area, together with Adrian Dominican Sisters Maurine Barzantni and Renée Richie.
Reprinted with permission from Catholic Missions in Canada Magazine, Summer 2015. For more information on the Canadian missions, please go to www.cmic.info.