Ceremony of the Handover of the Mental Health Clinic in Ayacucho, Peru, to the Brothers of Charity
Report by Sister Eileen Rabbitte
Greetings from Peru, especially from Ayacucho on this very special historical occasion for us, Columban Sisters.
The important news we want to share with you is that, on 5 November last, Anne Carbon and her Board of Directors, graciously handed over the ownership and management of the C.O.S.M.A, Comission de Salud Mental de Ayacucho, to the Religious Congregation of The Brothers of Charity.
Columban Sister Anne Carbon, Founder and Director of The Mental Health Clinic in Ayacucho, presents a symbolic key to her successor, Br Victor Hugo, Superior of the Congregation of the Brothers of Charity
Those of us who were lucky enough to have been able to accompany Anne felt truly privileged. For the people, we represented the Columban Sisters who in their great missionary spirit willingly handing over this extraordinary achievement, the fruit of seven years of hard work on Anne’s part, to the Brothers whose special charism is to work with mental health patients and their families.
The day began with a certain amount of anxiety as to how the transfer would be accepted by the families of the patients who naturally were very sad at the thought of Anne not being there for them. A very human and natural fear of change!! However, as we all sat down with the Brothers, Anne and her outgoing team, there was a feeling of excitement, gratitude and conviction that this indeed was the work of Divine Providence. Many photos were taken of key moments which I am sure will accompany this letter. You will see for yourselves that it is true; a picture is worth a thousand words!!
A Mass of Thanksgiving was celebrated at which we sisters, Anne and significant people from the Comission participated. It was followed by a delicious lunch prepared by one of the patients with help from her companions. The Mass and lunch were moments of sharing and joy and appreciation of Anne’s great missionary spirit shown in her willingness to hand over the fruit of her years of work.
A three hour programme of entertainment and lots of fun followed, produced by the staff and patients of the Clinic. Anne received many gifts and the Columban Sisters were also remembered with a beautiful hanging and special words of thanks.
Woven through the evening program were two videos. The first was the history of the beginning and development of the work of the Clinic and it was followed by a short presentation of the life and work and charism of the Brothers. This was very important for all of us to see how it all began and how right it is to hand it all over to a group of Religious whose special work it is to continue and develop it as they see fit.
The next day Anne had organized an outing to Quinua, a special tourist attraction close to Huamanga. The outing was for us Sisters and the Brothers. It was a very relaxing day and a time to get to know and appreciate the religious spirit of both groups.
I could go on but remember I said that a picture is worth a thousand words! So with much love and a good dose of holy pride for all that has been, I salute you all in the Peace of Christ.