Why I Love the Daughters of Charity Reason #15: It takes a good almost 8 minutes to simply list missions founded from 1991-2011 in the former USSR and show a few pictures.
Ever since I met the Daughters so many years ago, I knew they were an international group. But for some reason, it never occurred to me that they aren't solely missionaries, that there are thousands of native Daughters of Charity working in their own homeland (outside of the US). Of course, I knew that in the back of my head but it never really clicked.
That is, until I wrote a blog entry for Sr. Denise's blog (see first entry of this blog) and a British Daughter of Charity commented on the post. It was a moment that really made me smile. I imagined her...thinking in a British accent as she wrote her comment...and, just as I had seen around Emmitsburg and Baltimore, there were pictures of St. Vincent and St. Louise around her desk, photos of the Superiors on the walls. Okay, so I really have no idea if she actually has a British accent or if there are those pictures around her desk. BUT I did know that here was a woman halfway across the world that still was intimately connected with the group of women I knew, even if they may not have never met before. Here was a woman thousands of miles away that had a devotion to St. Vincent de Paul, St. Louise and the rest; that read (and followed) the same Constitution I read; that shared the same joy of being Vincentian.
As I watched this video, the same thoughts went through my head. First of all, I was amazed by how many there were, founded in just a 20 year timespan. Not only that but some had been founded just this year! But second of all, I had the same feelings I did when I think about the British DC that commented on my post. I imagined myself in those pictures with them...the Sisters chattering away in a Slavic language I didn't understand and in a country I couldn't even find on the map, yet despite that, I felt an utter connection with them. I saw in them the same devotion to the mission I see in the Daughters of Charity here in the United States.
I know not every discerner out there is looking for a huge international community. But I am the kind of person that finds things like this fascinating. And how lucky am I that God would lead me to this community - the Daughters are in over 90 different countries in the world! So many different languages, so many different cultures...yet one mission! (Reminds me of "Lord of the Rings"...."one mission to rule them all!")