I was born into a very happy home in Manizales (Colombia) on 6th September 1935. I’m the youngest of 6. Our two brothers are waiting for us in heaven, 2 of our sisters are great grandmothers already, and Inés is an RSCJ; I’m lucky enough to be in community with her at present.
I was one of Mother Marie Louise Schroen’s first Probation group in Rome in 1964, and made my Recyclage in Brazil in 1987. I’ve always been a happy sort of person, yet for some years I experienced a horrible pessimism that prevented me from doing even the simplest things properly. All I could say was “I can’t” or “I’m not capable of that”; it took away my peace and restricted me.
Thanks to the Lord and to Mater, who has always been my Mother and companion, I became aware of the situation. I was helped by prayer, my confessor, my rscj prayer-companion, and some self-help books, and eventually I was able to come through it and transform my life. I can say that today I’m the happiest woman in the world. I’m convinced that there’s nothing better for us than a talent for optimism, positive thinking and looking at life through God’s eyes. The service of others brings meaning to our lives, and so we feel impelled to perform that service without holding anything back. Contact with the poor has brought the Gospel to me, rather than the other way round, and today I live in a poor area of the city of Santa Marta, on the Caribbean coast of Colombia.
On 21st July this year I celebrated my Golden Jubilee, and at the Eucharist I was able to sing with Mary: “The Lord has done great things for me” and my spirit rejoices…” because among other things I have been able to discover all the wealth that the Lord has given me to share with others.
Modern inventions like the Internet fascinate me, and when I discover something new I really enjoy it.
Through crochet work, I have had many opportunities of contact with women, young people and even men who want something useful to do; it’s an excellent opportunity to share the charism, to talk about the Gospel and about life, and the groups are strengthening one another in their faith.
May Mater bless us.
Leonor Calle Botero rscj
province of Colombia