Sr. Fabiola recently visited our Sisters in Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia.
She writes: "Dear Sisters and Brothers who come to our web-site, after having been in the Asian Pacific from January 27 to February 15, I want to use this means to cut across the distances that separate us and with this letter connect with you while wishing you a fruitful Lenten journey. During these weeks outside Rome I first had the joy of going to Thailand with Sister Lucia Fernandez, director of the Dominican Volunteers.
There we visited several communities and areas of mission of her congregation, the Missionary Sisters of Saint Dominic. I observed, as I had on other occasions, the sisters’ joy when I spoke of the Dominican Sisters International, the movement that includes congregations in many different countries in which the sisters have adapted in very diverse manners to the realities in which they live, and joyously take on the mission to transmit with their lives, the Word of Life. Particularly interesting was the encounter with a group of thirteen young women who are novices in the initial formation program which the sisters have near Bangkok.
From Thailand we traveled on to Saigon in Vietnam with the specific objective of participating in the General Assembly of the Leadership Conference of the Dominican Family whose central theme would be, “The Challenges of the Asian Pacific Mission Today.” With us participated Sister Toni Harris, the DSI representative for peace and justice, and also some friars from the curia. Eighty seven people participated including friars, nuns, lay people and Dominican apostolic sisters. I really think that the assembly was extraordinarily successful in every sense and was a privileged moment of grace for getting to know each other and to strengthen the bonds that unite us as sons and daughters of the same spiritual father, Saint Dominic. May these lands, made fertile by the blood of so many martyrs, continue bringing forth witnesses to the compassionate and merciful love of God for all humanity.
Many gestures, words, attitudes, dreams and projects for the Dominican mission in the countries we visited will stay in my memory. It is certain that everything I experienced will remain in my mind, heart and prayer. The time has been one of incomparable richness because of the opportunity to relate with so many people and places, but one memory that I will never forget is one of very poor fishermen in a seaport near the Phom Phen airport. Everything there spoke of the urgency for our sisters to be imbued with and moved by a missionary spirit, by an itinerant mystique, so as to live the mission of announcing the Good News of the Gospel in the style of Jesus and Dominic, with love proved by action and by a real presence with and for the people.
Sr. Fabiola, OP