Associates in Peru

Associate Carmen Alomia Guia


To Remember is to Return to Live
Go and make disciples of all the nations.
-Mt. 28,18

These words of the bible resounded clearly and strongly in the minds and hearts of the Sisters: Rose-Marie Bokenfohr, Joey Doiron, Rose Healy, Jean Higgins, Irene MacDonell, Theresa Moher and Shirley Morris. For this reason they took their luggage and left for South America: Peru and Guatemala.

Here in Peru a Peruvian girl brimming with energy and hunger for God, formed part of the committee for the reception of the Canadian missionaries who were arriving in Progreso-Carabayllo-Lima. That was Clementina Torres (today an associate of the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul) who together with other poor families inhabited the dry arid hills to the north of Lima.

Walking with a Peruvian flag, flowers and much happiness along the road to Canta (there were no streets nor well-built houses, no running water, no electricity nor vegetation) they received the Sisters who would live among them. And so with Clementina, we associates, were part of the lives of the Sisters during the 40 years of their presence here in Carabayllo. Our lives intertwined; we formed a town together, struggled for a life of dignity, for human living conditions and we suffered social injustice as we worked to become aware of our situation and to change it with the strength of our faith in a liberating and just God.

We (Gricel Arroyo, Alfonso Acero, Carmen Alomia, Teresa and Edelmira Marquina and Ignacio Tavara ) were young adolescents without much future in life, without possibility of advanced studies or suitable work — we were excluded by the Lima Society because we were from the provinces who had invaded Lima. Our lives were transformed as we were accepted by the Sisters. With this experience, we came to know from studies, prayer and the example of the Sisters’ lives, a loving but exacting God. A God who was very concerned for the poor, a God who asked us to look out for our brothers and sisters, a God who asked that we practice justice and love tenderly, and that we walk humbly before God.

For this reason, when we had the possibility of being Associates of the congregation, we thought this was the most natural thing to do. We would continue our following of Jesus as Associates. When we came in contact with the documents of the Congregation, in which is outlined the Spirituality and Charism, with one voice we exclaimed — this is what we have been doing for some time: to serve the poor, trusting in Providence! We had learned this from the example of our Sisters. And so, like us, hundreds were formed by the witness of service to the poor shown by our Sisters. We have seen and followed their example. This experience has made us feel and act as Christian citizens with one mission — that of Christ’s.

“… to bring the good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and to the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free, and to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour!” Luke 4,18

Thanks be to God for this grace received!
Thanks be to God for our Sisters!