Sister Denis Rodrigue Reflects on Current Ministries
After teaching for forty eight years and caring for my elderly mother for eight years, I tried to discern what service God may have in store for me. After a few months of discerning, I felt that I was being called to minister to the elderly homebound, especially those who had been active in the church when they were younger and healthy. Some had been attending daily Mass and missed receiving daily Communion.
Presently, I have a few ministries which include visiting the sick and elderly, visiting Religion classes at Mt. Carmel Academy and acting as spiritual advisor to a Lay Carmelite community. The spirit of Carmel calls us to be of service to the people of God and to bring with that spirit of contemplation service to those in need.
Visiting the sick, especially after I had cared for my mother in her last years, made me come to the realization that many elderly are not only physically handicapped, but they miss being involved in their church parish which make many feel lonely and useless. My mission is not only to meet with them but to give them time to visit informally and also talk about their love of God and their concerns about family, church and country. Receiving Holy Communion brings them such joy that I feel inspired to live out my vocation in joyful service to whomever I encounter.
My contact with the students at Mount Carmel enables me to share with them the gift of their youth as I try to bring joy to them – joy that bounces back to me. I love people no matter what their age or circumstance. Jesus’ example of his relation with young and old inspire me to bring Jesus to those I am privileged to serve. I love to bring joy to them. Jesus prayed that we may joy -joy to the fullest. I have always tried to bring joy to those I serve – a gift that Jesus has generously given me through the years. Like the prophet Elijah I strive to live out the motto of Carmel: “With zeal am I zealous for the Lord God of Host.”