Random Nun Clips

Room at the inn

Podcast Recorded: February 6, 2023
Statues of Mary and Joseph going to Bethlehem

The cultural tradition of Las Posadas is a beautiful opportunity to meditate on the spirituality of people on the move. Sister Elizabeth Guerrero explains.

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Show Notes

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Transcript (Click for More)+

Sister Rejane  
This Random Nun Clip is brought to you by A Nun's Life Ministry. I am Sister Rejane of A Nun's Life Ministry, and my guest today is Sister Elizabeth Guerrero, a Sister of the Missionary Catechists of Divine Providence. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, and is the executive director of AHLMA, Asociacion de Hermanas Latinas Misioneras en America. This organization works with Catholic Sisters from Latin American communities who are ministering in the US, and Latina Catholic Sisters born in Latin America and born in the United States, who are members of US Catholic communities. AHLMA's mission is to support, accompany, and empower Latina sisters within the context of their ministries in the US Catholic Church.

Sister Elizabeth  
This had been something that was kind of put on hold because of COVID. It was called Rivers of Hope, Rios de Esperanza. And it was to provide a place of rest and retreat for brothers and sisters, religious brothers and sisters, priests as well, who work with people who are in trauma. Before COVID, it was primarily focused on immigrant populations -- folks working with refugees, things like that. And then during COVID we decided to put together this online pre-retreat, which were the Rivers of Hope, which would lead to this bigger retreat. So this Rivers of Hope, we had four of them along different rivers, obviously, virtually, and we worked with ARISE Adelante, who is a nonprofit organization down in the valley in the McAllen area, in the Texas Valley, wonderful women who work right along all the women and men, many women, in the colonias, the small neighborhoods, to help people in whatever needs they have. Mostly to help people, primarily women, find their gifts, offer them some education if they can, so they can be empowered to take more initiative in their lives and situation, and become part of the fabric of that society. Ours was around December. So we wanted it to be culturally relevant. So we decided to focus on the Posadas, which is a cultural tradition -- Catholic. It is nine nights before Christmas, and this is the reenactment of Joseph and Mary on their trip into Bethlehem, where they go knocking on doors looking for shelter, and obviously they can't find room in the inn. So they keep being turned away and turned away and turned away, and then finally they're sent to the manger, where Jesus is born. So again, this is very church on the move -- very much iglesia en salida. So, we reenact that. So that was the theme that we wanted to bring to our session of this virtual river experience to talk about folks who are migrating, who are still migrating to this day. Right now there's people walking all over the earth, and we were focusing on our brothers and sisters coming north through up to the border between Mexico and the US, and in what ARISE does to help those folks who do come. So it was a time to remember that, a time to bring some awareness, some personal experiences. The ladies from ARISE shared their personal stories or personal testimonies. And really just to give each other some hope, that even though we have these daily struggles, we also have daily hopes and then how do we help each other continue in this journey, and where do we find God in this, and where can we find each other. Like our statement says, where do we find that face of God, maternal or paternal?

Sister Rejane  
Yeah, it was beautiful. I loved how you tied Las Posadas with it, because I'm familiar with it. I lived in an intentional community with a couple of women from Mexico, and I think we were the last stop, and so had the big party. But to tie it with immigration and migration, and that spirituality of people on the move, I just had never connected it. And just the that sense of the Holy Family being homeless, and having to persevere out of need, and to find someone with an open heart to give what they have. It's just beautiful, and to connect it with ARISE Adelante and to work with people trying to get a better life for themselves and their families. The courage it takes -- and to be rejected time after time. That's the hard part with Las Posadas -- when you're on the move and not having the security.  

Sister Elizabeth  

Sister Rejane  
And the reliance on God. The trust in God to help you through those tough times.

Sister Elizabeth  

Sister Rejane  
This Random Nun Clip is brought to you by A Nun's Life Ministry.

This transcript has been lightly edited for readability.

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