“Here I am, Send Me”


In “The Joy of the Gospel”, Pope Francis reminds us that we are “Missionary Disciples” sent to be the hands, feet and heart of Jesus in service to others around the world as well as at home. 

Today, Sister Grace Boys, a Sister of Social Service invites us to become partners in mission with the Sisters in Mexico, Philippines and Taiwan as they engage people in a way that leads to their ability to help themselves, their families and to build local communities.

Some of the projects include: a micro lending cooperative serving impoverished areas in the Philippines; diabetes screening and suicide prevention for indigenous peoples in Mexico and remedial tutoring and group development for children and youth in the mountains of Central Taiwan.

“Here I am, Send Me”

My name is Sister Grace and I just returned from Budapest, Hungary where my community the Sisters of Social Service is celebrating 100 years of our foundation. The colorful scarf I am wearing proclaims our motto for the occasion. “Here we are, send us”

Our sisters have responded to this call in nine different countries. This weekend Fr. Corey has generously given me this opportunity to speak with you about our mission and ministries in Mexico, the Philippines and Taiwan.

In his encyclical letter, “The Joy of the Gospel” Pope Francis reminds us that showing God’s care is the mission of his Church. Today we are the body of Christ, his hands, his face, and his heart.

Here in Spring Valley, as a Church community, whenever you reach out to serve and advocate for those around you, the elderly disabled, the homeless and undocumented, you are giving witness to God’s care and concern.
And in addition to responding to the needs of our own local communities, our Holy Father reminds us, as a Church we need to embrace a global vision: to defend the dignity of all, especially the poorest, the marginalized, and those who suffer the most because of climate catastrophes.

This brings me to the reason I am with you today, to invite you to become our partners in mission with the poor and marginalized in Mexico, the Philippines and Taiwan. Send us to help people in ways that lead to their ability to help themselves, their families and improve their local communities. Let me share some examples.

More than 60 years ago one of our sisters began a nursing school for young women in the area around Zacapu, Michoacan Mexico. Today, Sister Leticia provides a home-away-from home for these young women who come from the local villages. Their parents are willing to let their daughters leave their small villages because they trust that the sisters will watch out for them.

Maria is one of the girls who came to the program. She did not speak Spanish. She spoke only the Purepechan language of her people. We assisted her to first learn Spanish and then to learn the medical terminology needed for her classes. With her classmates she developed a profession that not only helped to support her family but also brought needed health care to her entire village.

For the past several years Sister Beatriz has initiated a program to bring needed mental health services to remote villages where the suicide rate is alarming. She works with the public health department by training local health workers to recognize the signs when professional help is needed.

In the Philippines our Sisters work with many of the very poor 4,000 families that were displaced from the suburbs of Manila to the make-shift town of Paliparan in Cavite Province.

Sister Marilena started a successful cooperative-lending program. Currently there are over 3000 members who participate in various projects to become more self supporting.

Because of donations, the Sisters are able to provide partial college scholarships to young men and women—giving them greater opportunity to find jobs and support their families. These young scholars give back to their community by tutoring the younger children during the week and by helping with the summer youth programs.

Currently Sister Vangie is hoping to be able to counsel and companion many youth that have been jailed for minor offenses under the severe regime of the current President.
In Taiwan our sisters provide living witness to the love of Christ in a country where less than 5 percent are Christian.

In Central Taiwan where many indigenous people live, Sister Bernadette runs two community centers for the children to develop their sense of self and increase their learning experiences.

Recently she held a contest for the young children to build small Lego robots, giving them the unique opportunity to access new technology and learn problem solving skills while working with others.

Sister Theresa runs a ministry center in urban Taipei which serves as a gathering place for local bible study and discussion groups on social justice issues, especially as they relate to women.

These are just some of the ways in Mexico, Philippines and Taiwan, our Sisters are responding to being sent as missionary disciples, to be the hands, the face and the heart of Christ, showing that God cares about our needs and concerns.

Please join with us to continue this mission of the Church, witnessing to the love of Christ for all peoples of the world, so together we can say with joy, “Here I am send me, here we are, send us.”

Thank you and God Bless you.