The Carmelite Sisters say thank you for the food and medicine in Colombia
Pereira in the west of Colombia has been the home of one community of the Discalced Carmelites since 1943. Like all contemplative religious, the Sisters live a life of prayer and contemplation away from the noise and bustle of the world. Prayer is their principal apostolate, and day and night they pray before the Blessed Sacrament for the needs of the Church and the world.
At first the convent was in the middle of the town, but later they moved to the suburbs, to a place more suited to their contemplative way of life. “We wish to live love in the heart of the Church” says the prioress of the Carmelites, Mother Amparo Restrepo Velez. Now aged 80, she has 11 nuns under her care.
The community in Pereira is a very industrious one, and although the Sisters never leave the convent, they nevertheless evangelize through their quiet witness. Anyone who knocks on their convent door will find a warmhearted welcome, since ultimately it is an integral part of their apostolate to be at the service of all.
In order to support themselves they sell the produce from their own convent bakery and the sparkling wine from their winepress, in addition to lovingly crafted embroidery and other handmade products, such as knotted rosaries. Beyond the regular hours of contemplative prayer, they devote themselves to ordinary household tasks and to cultivating their vegetable, flower and fruit gardens. The Sisters who are young and fit also help to tender and care for their elderly and sick Sisters in religion. Three of these are aged over 70 and require regular medication.
You have helped to assure the survival of the convent, since at the local level their income had sunk alarmingly, even though they were still working as hard as they ever did. Additionally, some expenses, such as doctors’ consultations and medication are “very expensive,” as the Superior had written in her original letter to ACN.
Your generous support of $3,900 helped to bridge the gap and cover the needs of all the Sisters. Mother Amparo Velez wrote to thank all the benefactors: “Thanks to your donations, we were able to cover the costs of the medication, as well as our own upkeep and all the obligatory insurance payments. May Our Blessed Lady protect all the benefactors. A big hug and our heartfelt greetings.”
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