Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Being Called "Sister"

Sister Mary Louise Stubbs, D.C.
My name is Sister Mary Louise Stubbs, D.C., but I am called "Mary Lou" by those who know me, or Hermana Maria Luisa, or often just "Sister." I think the last one describes me best because it implies the relationship I hope to be in with everyone.

I've been a Daughter of Charity for quite a while and have done a variety of ministries that may appear to be different on the surface (hospital work, community development, etc.), but are all very similar: They are ministries of service to those in the distress and panic of poverty.

My initial impression of the Daughters came as I began to explore what seemed to be a call from God--not a very clear call, but a pretty persistent one. While attempting to find out job requirements for a research position at the National Hanson's Disease Center in Louisiana, my letter ended up on a Daughter of Charity's desk and the information they sent me was a beacon in my darkness. This was one gutsy group of women doing daring and audacious service around the world!

Today my ministry, with International Project Services (IPS), is to work with our Sisters in the developing countries of the world to help them find resources they need to serve the poorest of the poor in impoverished nations. The Sisters in Bolivia, Cambodia, Poland, Tanzania or any of about 55 other countries contact our office because the people they serve need clean water, medicine, education, protection for little girls in danger of female genital mutilation, or disaster recovery, or any of multiple projects that will help people live their lives in safety and grow toward their potential. Our little ministry goes to donors and foundations and finds resources on their behalf and sends those resources to them.

This ministry is simple and direct. Those who want to be a part of mission work in a given country or for certain causes or just be a part of the service team wherever they are needed can do so. Our ministry is to facilitate the assistance and communicate the results back to the donors who are now integral to the mission. Within the past eight years, 663 ministry projects have been funded. See some of the results on our website or Facebook Page.

All I've done is listen to the voice deep in my heart and followed that invitation through a series of amazing adventures in a community of support and a relationship of prayer. I like being called "Sister" because that is who I am to all people, everywhere.

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