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The Splendor of India Part 2: Sister Georgette Dublino

Posted by Administrator (admin) on May 08 2017
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In celebration of St. Francis Center for Renewal's seventh annual Star Struck Gala, we share with you several articles from sisters who served there and who called India "home" for a period of their lives. The Gala's theme -- The Splendor of India -- comes shining through in these reflections.

In this installment, Sister Georgette Dublino recounts her excitement at being called to minister in India.

Deep in my heart, when it was announced our congregation was opening a new mission in India, I immediately felt an excitement about it. How I would have liked to go, but never shared it with anyone. The Lord was already giving me the desire, so when I received the phone call from Sister Marguerite Stewart, vicar general at the time, asking if I would be open to going to India, I remember experiencing shock and excitement at the same time! I couldn't believe that I was being asked to go!

As I continued to listen, Sister explained it was not for me to give the answer now, but rather, I was to pray and discern about it. I couldn't contain my joy and already said I was willing to go, that I felt excited about it as soon as I heard we had a Mission in India! "Even though you want to go, said Sister Marguerite, "I want you to pray about it first, and I will call you again in about two weeks." There was such a joy as I thought about it, and could hardly wait for Sister's phone call! It seemed like an eternity as I waited for her return call. Finally, when Sister called, it was definite I would be going to India in January 1994!

Long story short, I went to India every year for only half a year at a time. Visas would be granted for only six months for fear we who would "visit" might take someone's job. My time in India ended as of May 2001. During my stay there I taught English, had sessions on deepening our sisters' spiritual lives, music practice, but most of all to just be a School Sister of St. Francis in their midst! To my delight, they had a guitar there which no one knew how to play it. It was in great need of being "tuned up," so off it went immediately to the music shop.

What a gift India was for me spiritually and humanly. I was immersed in a totally new culture in every way possible: language, food, dress, routine, and environment! How sensitive the sisters were to my needs, to the food I ate, and the lizards that liked to keep me company, as well as some other creatures. Sister Sabi was on 24-7 "duty" for any disturbance that would occur even during the night. "Sister, whatever the time, just call me and I will come!" Also, every night before the lights went out, Sister Sabi would thoroughly check my room so I could sleep peacefully.

What energy the young women had! Studying English was one thing, but to speak it every day was quite a challenge. So I studied Malayalam while in Rome for three months -- I was teaching them and they were teaching me! Our recreations were such fun ... learning American and Indian dances, playing cards, singing songs and composing exquisite creative plays! All in all, we were growing together as a joy-filled and bonded Franciscan faith community.

My experience in India is a memory I will always treasure, and the beautiful friendships that were nurtured are a continual "joy" in my heart, as I remember them prayerfully each day. May God continue to bless the beautiful community of our sisters in India, their simplicity, their living of poverty, their deep prayer life, their desire to be a sister. The sisters who were growing in their understanding of a religious vocation have been an inspiration to my own religious commitment!

Sister M. Georgette Dublino, OSF

Last changed: May 08 2017 at 4:50 PM


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