And the goodbyes start!

“For every goodbye, God also provides a hello” (Proverb).

Well, all good things must come to an end! As my time in Ottawa draws to a close, it is time to say goodbye to many people who have been woven into my life over these past two years. Some of these very special people belong to the local parish which I have been attending. When I arrived in Ottawa back in August 2012, one of my friends who is a bilingual (English-Spanish) speaking priest invited me to attend Mass in the local parish Church which welcomes Hispanics from around Ottawa. With a little bit of apprehension I went along albeit knowing a few words of Spanish but with a desire to experience this reality which seemed like a good way to start a new journey in a new country.

Words do not do justice to the wonderful sense of family and community which I have experienced there each Sunday and also each Thursday when I would attend for Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction. This is Church! The warmth of the Latin American people truly overflowed and even though I spoke no Spanish when I first arrived, I was welcomed with great fervour and smiles and patient understanding.

On my last Sunday participating in the Eucharist there, the community put together a surprise graduation-departure party! What a lovely thing to do, it was completely unexpected. People brought different plates of food to share. There was a lovely homemade and decorated cake with a sister on it which the children thought was very funny as it kind of did look like me! We had the chance to spend some time together, assuring each other of prayers and remembrances for the various intentions. I have some beautiful photos memories of the event too!
The priests and the people of Sagrada Familia will remain in my heart and as I pray before the Blessed Sacrament. May God reward them all for their kindness to the hermanita from Ireland who is blessed to call them friends and pilgrims on the way!