by Sr. Regine Fohrer
“I have known Patricia for almost seven years. She lives in the women’s shelter we visit every Thursday. For various reasons, she has not yet managed to find a job and is therefore unable to leave the shelter. Having invited her several times to come to the Heart’s Home Center to cook with me, and having realized how much she loves cooking, I encouraged her to look for a job in the culinary field. At the beginning of 2014, she began training as a chef with an association that helps people struggling to find a job. It was no easy task for Pat to faithfully attend school every single day, to commute to the city for her classes and to persevere till the end. We kept supporting her until the day she told us with a smile: “My graduation day is approaching! You gonna come?” She handed me the invitation and said: “And I just got $100. I would like to invite you to the restaurant!” We celebrated with chips and burgers at Five Guys. What a joy it was for our friend to be able to treat me with her own earned money!
Graduation day was simply unforgettable! I had never seen Pat beaming in such a radiant way. She was standing tall and happy to have been able to finish her training. It was a unique experience which reminded me that each human person needs to be encouraged and that trust and friendship can deeply reveal the true essence of a person. That night Pat was simply great! She was not the shy hidden woman we can sometimes see, but she was strong, confident and thankful. Many people she trusted believed in her, and she thus began to believe in herself! This is what we try to bring these women every Thursday; a unique gaze towards them that does not limit them, but which reveals that there is much more to be discovered in them!”