“Taking a break from studies to do a mission trip” is a popular and very fruitful way to spend a spring break in college. For a missionary religious sister in graduate school, this means something totally different!
First Things recently published the article “The Breath of Mercy” written by Sr. Maria del Fiat Miola, SSVM about the mystery of mercy she experienced in caring for a severely disabled child during a summer spent at our home in Bethlehem, “Hogar Niño Dios.” As we reach the Fourth Sunday of Lent, the article offers a beautiful reflection for the Year of Mercy and the Lenten season.
How the Article Came About: Graduate Studies Aside for a Summer in a Home of Mercy
Sr. Fiat is not assigned full-time to this work of mercy, but rather has been involved in study and academics during most of her religious life as a missionary sister. For seven years she taught Latin in Italy at a center for higher studies, imparting grammar, vocabulary and a love for the Classical, Patristic and liturgical Latin to sisters, seminarians and lay students. Since 2011 she has continued to teach while also doing research as a graduate student at The Catholic University of America (Washington, DC) where she is currently a doctoral candidate in the Center for the Study of Early Christianity.
During the summer of 2014 after completing her Master’s Degree, she offered herself to serve in a home of mercy for a few months to relieve the sisters there and to draw close to Christ in the “least of His brothers.” She was asked to help in our home for disabled children in Bethlehem.
Among all the beautiful children there, Sr. Fiat was especially touched by the contact she had with Wassim, one of the most severely disabled children. The article “The Breath of Mercy” tells this story.
Learn more about our home in Bethlehem “Hogar Niño Dios” with this short video.