We also keep in our prayers the people of Venezuela and our Sisters in that province. As you can see from Fernanda’s letter, they are all fine, though living with anxiety, not only from the constant threat of an armed intervention, but a financial and economic one, as well. They live with hope and coherence their option to stand by the side of the poor. We pray especially for peace and justice in all our countries.
A hug to each one of you,
A Letter from Fernanda:
First of all, I would like to share with you my concern for our beloved Haiti. I really appreciate the news from the sisters and I even appreciate being concerned with them, sharing with them the difficulties and joys of a country I love and admire.
Bodo, how terrible it is to live under threat. How the military threat weighs on our shoulders, the daily threat of the annihilation of our economy, the threat of our freedom and peace. I appreciate the ability of the Venezuelan people to live every day the best they can, to know the value of every moment no matter how small, of joy, challenge and serenity. I do not know how long this will last, but while it lasts, it is a beautiful miracle of coexistence and closeness.
We resisted the proposal of Guaidó who openly invites military intervention and, like Trump, threatens us with troops if we do not obey his whims. We resist. Some days we have more strength to face the daily problems that the financial and commercial blockade bring us. Other days, the threat resonates inside with such a force that it leaves us stunned. We live the moment with what we have. Not an easy moment, but a gift and opportunity.
I have been following for several weeks the news on Televisión Española, CNN and Radio Caracol in Colombia. I have seen the shameless and cruel lies, with bad intentions, defending particular interests. I have seen arguments that a good part of the population ignore (not only in Venezuela, but in the world population), that population that suffers and because of that suffering has a special capacity to recognize the leadership that resonates with their own dreams. I let myself be guided by that invisible population.
There is no way to be impartial, fair and objective in these moments of history. I wonder if that will not be one of the frontiers we must cross. The point is that I think that from our wealthy middle class it is easy to weigh one side and the other and defend fundamental principles. Since these years in Venezuela and, above all, since this hard crisis, I realized that this position favors only those who have power, and that I must be on one side, making a clear choice for the excluded and impoverished. Not to help them, but to build together trust and justice and build the truth of the oppressed, of the penalized, of those who are ignored. Of course, on this side there are also many mistakes, injustices and corruption. But from this side I want to correct the mistakes and build the successes.
Sometimes I think that we, as a Society, are afraid to take such clear or radical positions. We think perhaps that they go against harmony, that we should be a bridge, that we should be “inclusive”. I think we should cross the frontiers and risk our principles. We must dare to rebuild life, spirituality, faith and principles with those who did not even have the opportunity to build them in the first place.
My sister Bodo, we're all fine. I try to be close to each one to live together the constant threat and the constant hope. We decided to meet the whole Province during the Holy Week (we will miss Margot), without a fixed agenda, just to meet us and take our pulse. It is necessary to accompany each other, knowing that each community is facing its own reality, its reality of the local context, its national reality. Each community is facing this with the tools we have and that is the way it should be. Close, in communication, supporting each other.
I confess that the work helps me. I'm in a very good team. We analyze the reality together, we participate in the organization of the community, strengthening ourselves in the daily life, we help each other and we create short and long term programs that can accompany the moment we live. On Friday we had a day about national situation with a remarkable sociologist. The Ministry of Education has launched a Master's proposal for Directors in which I am participating. I am enjoying it a lot. Very good material, from the perspective of Popular Education, with a view to creating the Educational Management mode that each community needs. It is an opportunity to deepen the educational proposal of the country and make contributions.
Bodo, I know that history is troubled in many parts of the world, and this worries me. Spain, France, Brazil, Argentina, the Philippines, India... The historical moment is complex. With each Province of the Society I want to continue building spaces of sensitivity, of depth. We cannot be carried away by clichés and appearances, by judgments made from inflexible principles when reality is changing so much and is hitting us so much. For me this is the time to shout, I want to find the places in this history where LIFE continues to be born, I want to be sensitive to those who suffer and I want to build depth and meaning with the people surrounding me. I think that's how Sophie and so many of our sisters lived.
I send you a big hug and see you soon. United with Haiti, Fer