carbon4“God certainly writes straight on crooked lines!”  This is how Sister Anne Carbon from the Philippines, sums up her life.

At the present time, Anne is on mission in the Diocese of Ayacucho high up in the Southern Andes Mountains of Peru.

Anne comes from the city of Cayagan de Oro, Mindanao, in the Southern Philippines and is one of a family of nine – seven girls and two boys. In college, Anne studied nursing and was particularly interested in the field of mental health. While studying, Anne did some work experience with a group of sisters who cared for the mentally ill.  She was very impressed by their commitment and attracted to their mission.  Soon after finishing her studies, Anne decided to join these sisters and was sent to Cebu to begin her formation as a religious sister and from there she was transferred to Manila.  Gradually, however, she began to sense that this way of life was not for her. She left the community and found a job – the idea of being a sister almost totally abandoned – but not quite.

One day a priest friend introduced her to another group of sisters – the Columban Sisters –and gradually, bit by bit, Anne began to sense once again that inner call that had first attracted her to religious life. Eventually, she decided that, yes, she would again set out in faith and offer herself to God for the sake of mission.

She studied at the Institute of Spiritual Formation in Manila and after three years made her First Commitment as a Columban Sister. She worked with the Subanans in the Southern Philippines for two years and was then invited to go on mission to Peru. On her way there, she spent some months in England studying for her SRN and in the Motherhouse in Ireland where she worked in the Infirmary.  Then it was off to Peru!

After finishing her Spanish language studies Anne worked for about a year in a psychiatric hospital in Lima.  During this time, she also helped explore the possibility of opening a new mission for the Columban Sisters in the mountains of Southern Peru. Soon she and another sister set off for Ayacucho,  This is a region of Peru that has suffered intensely during the years of the Shining Path guerrilla movement..  The scars of this suffering are everywhere.  To avoid it, many fled to the margins of the city of Lima, but whether in the city or in the mountains their sufferings have left a deep imprint on their lives. They need help to heal the pain and the trauma. Anne got involved in a diocesan program that provides such care, and  a clinic was opened which gives specialized attention and rehabilitation to those in need.   In addition, outreach is done to the various small pueblos in the mountains. Professional teams come from Lima and from the U.S. to help with the work. Now when she looks back on her life Anne truly believes that she has found her mission!

When she began her search for what was to be her direction in life, little could Anne have thought that her desire to serve the mental health needs of those traumatized by life’s event would find fulfillment in the mountains of Peru.  Her early dreams and plans did not seem to work out as she had hoped. However, she was willing to try again and God gave back to her a hundredfold – far beyond what she could ever have hoped for or imagined. carbon3


Anne was missioned in Peru in 2000 and is presently a member of the Central Leadership team of the Congregation since 2011.