Sister Tekakwitha, a Sister of the Holy Family in New Orleans, shares a reflection on her vocation and her thanks to SOAR! donors.

July 23, 2015

World War II was still raging and impacting even neutral countries, like Belize, hidden in the Caribbean. Despite the turmoil, however, I traveled northward to New Orleans to become a member of an African-American religious community, the Sisters of the Holy Family, 700 miles away. Seventy years later, through all the challenges and changes, new places, new faces, new tasks, I count my blessings and give thanks to God for my vocation and for the opportunity to be a part of Venerable Henriette Delille’s mission to serve the poor and needy.

Over the years I served on many missions with different ministries as teacher, administrator and Congregational Leader for 8 years. My last ministry was at Delille Inn, a HUD facility for the elderly, disabled and handicapped where I ministered as administrator. “It is a long lane that has no turning,” the saying goes, so when Katrina paid our city a costly visit, we never dreamed it would be so disastrous. We did not evacuate because there were too many residents who had no safe haven to shelter from the hurricane. Therefore, we weathered the storm with them. Four years of waiting and struggling went by, the building was finally restored and Delille Inn once again opened its door to residents, but so much had changed.

Within two years, I retired along with another sister who served with me at Delille Inn. We knew that retiring to the Motherhouse would require some living adjustments like communal bathrooms. Imagine our surprise when we were both assigned to separate rooms with a bathroom between us. It was a blessing we both agreed. The years had taken its toll on us physically; we are octogenarians with arthritic problems and aging bodies. What a luxury! Yes, here we go again, counting our blessings and thanking everyone who made this accommodation possible. We are grateful and appreciative. Thank you!

Sister Tekakwitha Vega, SSF