by Sister Rosemary Lynch, IBVM
When I joined the Institute of the Blessed Virgin in 1951 as a “mature” 17 year old, little did I realize that my first ministry would be that of driving. Children needed to get to and from kindergarten, religious education, supplies had to be brought to temporary classrooms, youth to their activities, and Sisters to doctor appointments. I was known as a “driver” and I might add, a good driver! I enjoyed this ministry because I sensed it as a gift to those who lacked the ability to move about to take care of their own needs.
Due to health issues, I have had to stop driving. This ended a ministry that I had considered important for years. However, the impact of this change had effects that I was not aware of. Obviously it caused a loss of independence. I could not easily take off and visit people or decide to go shopping whenever I felt like it.
However, the change that had the greatest effect was not the loss of independence but, the increased reality of being more dependent on others. Most Religious men and women have been “givers” all their life. It is difficult to be primarily on the receiving end. It requires a humble acceptance of God’s will for one’s self.
The help our community received from SOAR! to purchase a handicap accessible van has helped me deal with being dependent. It means that the driver does not have to lift a wheel chair in and out of a car. It means that the driver does not have to help me in and out of the wheelchair. It allows me to feel a little less guilty about the assistance I do need and accept help from others.
As an IBVM Sister who immediately benefited from the van, I want to express my deep and sincere thanks for the help we received from SOAR!. It will continue to benefit our Sisters in the future. I am amazed at the many good things SOAR! has done for Religious in the past and I hope you realize the appreciation and prayers that go out to you.