Sister Albane was one of the first Missionaries in NY:
"A place called Woodycrest comes to my mind. This is a hospice for AIDS patients that we visit each Wednesday and celebrate mass with on Saturday mornings. Our friends are often there for several months in order to be closely monitored in their treatment, to undergo detoxification, etc. For others, it is an alternative to prison. There are about a hundred of them living here, each of them has AIDS at a more or less advanced stage of the disease. Some cannot walk anymore, others can no longer express themselves correctly, others are like zombies under the influence of drugs and medicines.
At the Saturday morning mass, they arrive in wheelchairs pushed by another patient or they trail in with the help of a cane... and this TV room serving as a chapel for the mass is transformed quickly into a “court of miracles”. And actually, we witness true miracles there! These individuals, some more damaged than the others, prove to be capable of splendid gestures.
I have seen Diego, limping in, singing “Eso es el día que hizo el Señor” (This is the day the Lord has made).
I have seen Stewart trying somehow to kneel during the consecration despite our suggestion to sit or stand, and remaining in this position, which is quite uncomfortable and painful for him.
I have seen Tracia offering intentions for her friend who will be operated on, for all her companions at Woodycrest, for the soldiers in Iraq, for us, the Missionaries who take time to come to visit without ever thinking of offering a prayer for herself.
I have seen Miriam, who is mildly autistic, taking my hand to pray “Our Father”.
I have seen Santiago at the end of mass inviting Manuel, who is in much worse conditions than he is, to spend some time together. Then turning to me, he proclaims:"He’s my best friend!" before shuffling out to go to lunch.
They all pray, they listen, they take part, they consent by nodding or commenting during the homily, and at the end of the mass, we sing. And I hear them sing “We are the Light of the World”, “We are the Light of the World”. And in fact, they are the Light of the World because these men and women bring me back to Christ; these former dealers, drug addicts, prostitutes, and gang members somehow remind me of God’s love."