by Sr. Sheila Campbell MMM, Ireland 07/10/2021
One of the key lessons I have learnt from my ministry as a Sister is to be flexible. Life is constantly changing and I have learnt to weave my way through it, trying to respond as best I can, to the needs of the local people of God and to my community. At times I have struggled with some assignments I have been given. For example, I trained as a nurse, but I do not like hospital nursing! Yet I spent three years as one of only two trained nurses in a rural hospital in Brazil because I knew it was the need at that time. I knew I was in the right place.
For me, mission happens in the cracks of ministry – a chance word of encouragement spoken, a smile, a shoulder to cry on, a listening presence – often these gestures have meant more to people than my formal position. Being flexible means constantly adapting, constantly fitting in to new cultures, learning language, understanding the other person’s point of view. I come from Northern Ireland and we grew up with an ultra sensitivity to the two cultures that share our small patch of land. I think I have developed and broadened that concept as a religious Sister.