Report by Sister Maura Gallahue
September 28, 2009 was a memorable and happy day for the Columban Sisters in Peru and particularly for the sisters working in Ayacucho. On that day the newly constructed Mental Health Clinic situated on Jirón Sol 637 was blessed by the Archbishop, Mons. Luis Sabastiani Aguirre.
|It was a joyful group of people who gathered for this special celebration. Present were people from Ayacucho, those who are availing of the services of the clinic, local politicians, priests, religious sisters and many Columban Sisters who work in other parts of Peru. Special guests included two members of the Leadership Team of the Columban Sisters, Sister Anne Ryan and Sister Patricia Quigley, and staff members from Noguchi Mental Hospital in Lima among them Dr, Luis Matos Retamozo and Lic.Miriam Cabra who with other staff of the hospital have been volunteering at the Clinic for the past six years.
After a Senerata provided by the a group of young people from the University of Huamanga, Tuna Universitaria, the welcome was given by Sister Anne Carbon, Director of the newly opened clinic who with Sister Mary Nolan has lived and worked in Ayacucho for the past six years. The whole building was blessed, room by room,.and the plaques were unveiled. The Inauguration Address was given by Dr, Luis Matos Retamozo.
Lic. Ruth Moises Rios, Directora Ejecutiva de la Comision del Salud en Ayacucho and Sra Goya Perez de Morote, Presidente dd la Asociacion de los Padres spoke. both expressed their gratitude for what the Columban Sisters have made possible for those suffering from mental illness in Ayacucho. Two patients told of how the clinic has helped them in their recovery.
Sister Anne Ryan,
Then we had the Brindis de Honor and the sharing of food by all present. Gifts were presented to the Columban Sisters and to Misean Cara of Ireland whose donations had helped build the clinic. Bailes Folkiorcos were presented by young people who volunteer at the Clinic, by some of the patients and by the children who attend the special school that is also a part of the Clinic. Of course, everyone was invited to take part in the fun.
All of us had an opportunity to visit the various areas of the Clinic were the staff, who had done a wonderful job in organizing this special event, were on hand to explain the activities and services of their particular department.
The program ended with the guests and the staff sharing a celebratory lunch together followed by more dancing.
In the evening the Columban Sisters present for the occasion and two special priest friends, Fr. Mauricio Foley and Fr. Edgar Valdevia gathered to remember another significant event of September 28 – the eve of the anniversary of the founding of the Columban Sisters in 1924, The original missionary vision of the Columban Sisters was the serve the poor, particularly women, in China. Since that time, the mission has spread to many other places, and on this day in 2009, we had gathered to celebrate once again God’s goodness to us in calling us to live and work with the people of Ayacucho.