Sister Andree Bindewald Ministry Reflection
It’s amazing the places a “Yes” can lead you! As a Sister of Our Lady of Mount Carmel over the past fifty-three years, I have been so blessed to be part of our Carmelite ministry which has enhanced the ministry of the Church and has guided me in my efforts to be a disciple of Jesus.
I have been challenged by my many experiences over the years which included heath care as a witness to the beauty of the leukemic child in whom I saw patience, innocence and their glimpse of the expectation of life with Jesus; outreach in ecumenical service to the economically poor in impoverished areas of West Tennessee and Philippines as well as in projects of North Louisiana where dire poverty looks the same though faces look different; pastoral care in rural parishes, in chaplaincy assistance in a mental health care facility, and in ministry to the elderly where I learned compassion to be given and to be received; the ministry of Christian formation in Metairie, Abbeville, and the Diocese of Memphis where together as seekers, both they and I, were formed and molded more and more into followers of Christ.
Most recently I returned from ministry in the Philippines where intermittently over five years I have assisted with the formation of Asian candidates who were responding to a vocational call to religious life as a Sister of Mount Carmel. I found in them a simplicity of faith and a deep desire and eagerness to follow Jesus.
I was delighted and privileged to experience in the Asian culture, especially in Timor-Leste, the heartwarming hospitality extended to the foreigner, the traveler.
Among the people, I was reminded of the call to common prayer, worship, and life-enhancing celebrations as parishioners walked far, prayed devoutly, and celebrated heartily as a community.
The young women in formation inspired me by their perseverance as they, too, experienced new cultures and languages in answering their vocational call. Their courage to learn, their desire to live God’s word, and their effort to imbibe the spirit of Carmel is a daily reminder of God’s loving presence to those who journey with them. What a privilege it has been. Never could I have imagined where my call to religious life would lead me nor the experiences that would be mine when I said “Yes” to God’s invitation!