VIRIDITAS: SOUL GREENING
I was at Maryknoll High School for zillions of years as an educator, and later served as executive director of the alumni association. My students continue to keep in touch with me. I will never forget Hawaii because of its beauty and the beauty of its people. Now, I am engaged in a different form of ministry.
Life at the Maryknoll motherhouse is very active. There is so much offered and given to us here. Our spiritual life is well-taken care of. Daily at 10 a.m. we pray the rosary followed by various activities such as exercising, crafts or other fun things to do. At 11:30 a.m. we have Mass in our lovely chapel. When you enter the upstairs chapel, it might seem odd that it is quite empty as there are no pews. That is because the space is left open for the many wheelchairs.
There are also around four retreats a year that I can avail of. Sometimes, we go and listen to visiting speakers in the area. In addition, as we are very accessible to people from other parts of the world, we always have visitors coming and going. Even when my students visit New York, they all want to visit Maryknoll. Sometimes, you can hear sisters coming back from the missions saying, “Oh, I haven’t seen you for 30 years!” But, we are like old friends as we know each other from formation days, news shared and other congregational gatherings.
Due to my legal blindness, I am limited in the ways I communicate. I can’t skype or email. Before that, I always kept in touch with people. Ordinarily, if I heard there was someone here, I would go downstairs, invite them to the dining room where we could grab a bite and converse. But because of my limitations, the staff now brings visitors to me.
Today, when I went to the heart doctor, Maryknoll provided me with a driver and a companion. I find that when I go out on those trips, it is an opportunity to minister to the one ministering, or caring for me through our conversations. My companions, or aides, come from various parts of the world, like the Caribbean. Thus, when I was told that I needed to go to back to the hospital for an x-ray. I could have been dismayed, but, when thinking of it as another opportunity to minister to another companion, it was easier to accept.
What keeps me grounded in my adaptation to this stage of life? My favorite prayer is St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Suscipe:
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.
I say it many times a day. I also love saying short prayers such as “Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in you.” And, “Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for me,” offering them throughout the day.
Sister Dolores Rosso entered the Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic in 1942. She served in Hawaii from 1949 to 1982 at Maryknoll High School. She now resides at the Maryknoll Sisters convent in New York.