• June 30, 2009

Renée’s departure for a Heart’s Home Mission in India

Renée Kurz, Heart’s Home Misssionary 2009.

Renée K. is a 26-year-old dancer, a very gifted clothing designer, and an excel­lent cook too (I espe­cially rec­om­mend her lemon-cheese­cake). She is leaving with Heart’s Home for an 18-month mis­sion in India. For a long time, she has felt a strong desire to taste and see the huge­ness of God in a rad­ical way through the chal­lenge of a dif­ferent lifestyle. By com­mit­ting abroad, some­where she has nothing to be attached to, Renee feels she will have no choice left but to expe­ri­ence abandon and to offer her­self fully to her mis­sion.

As she lives in Brooklyn, the com­mu­nity of Heart’s Home John Paul II is lucky to see Renée pass by, smiling, joking... or even, some­times, being anx­ious about her mis­sion. These exchanges are always a great oppor­tu­nity to share more with her on Compassion, being a pres­ence and Heart’s Home’s charism.

Through teaching dance and making unique clothing, Renée already tries in her daily work to under­line human dig­nity and make people feel beau­tiful and worthy of love. The designing of clothes, the choice of the fabric, lis­tening to her stu­dents... every minute of her life is led by the strong desire to lift people up. As an artist, she is ani­mated by the quest for beauty, in everyone and in each encounter. But as such, she is also faced with the classic struggle of being at the same time an artist and a Catholic. Meeting Heart’s Home gave her the sat­is­fac­tion to rec­on­cile these two fun­da­mental strengths in her life. Being an artist and a Catholic are often con­sid­ered con­tra­dic­tory, whereas, according to Renée «God is the ulti­mate cre­ator, so to return to that source could only allow for growth and enhance­ment of who I am called to be as an artist... Heart’s Home cor­re­sponds to this vision. By pro­moting Art as a teacher of Compassion, Heart’s Home brought my two worlds together» .

Still, joining Heart’s Home was cer­tainly not an easy deci­sion to make, espe­cially when you are so gifted. I can, how­ever, hear Sister Regine -Heart’s Home USA Recruitment Director- asking with a great, encour­aging smile «But... did you really expect life would be easy?». In fact, Renée could have ful­filled many con­crete pur­poses in choosing an over­seas mis­sion: edu­cating, dancing, sewing... She decided instead that she would above all be a pres­ence, adhering thus to Rev. Thierry’s intu­ition that «To be is enough to change the world because to love is enough».

Instead of cre­ating an agenda to be imposed on the people they serve, Heart’s Home seeks to make a dif­fer­ence by starting with the desire of hearts. Its mis­sion con­sists in loving the hearts of the people, looking at them first, rec­og­nizing their hunger and thirst and iden­ti­fying then how these can be sat­is­fied. Such a love is cer­tainly demanding. And in a way, it echoes to Leonardo di Vinci’s state­ment «Art lives from con­straints», just as Renée affirms «by starting with the heart of the human being, the cre­ative out­lets of our work are even more rewarding and dis­tin­guish­able».

Renée will not be alone in this chal­lenging mis­sion. She will now be living within a Heart’s Home com­mu­nity in India and her work will be fol­lowed and encour­aged by her spon­sors and friends. Though she has been used to reach goals by her­self, Renée knows that com­mu­nity life is nec­es­sary for such a mis­sion and sup­port is highly needed.

Some work you cannot achieve on your own, espe­cially when it comes to showing the uncon­di­tional love of God.

Mathilde V.

Note that Renée K. will perfom a Heart’s Home Dance Concert in NY “Be the One”- July 19 to gain sup­port for her mis­sion.

Renée Kurz
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