By Margaret Flynn, Heart’s Home volunteer in Spokane, WA
Before flying to New York, my three sisters of community (Amy, Jessica, Victoria) and I had spent four months trying to figure out what our mission in Spokane should encompass. Although no Heart’s Home is exactly the same, our house is unique by the fact that we are all students. We traveled to New York with the hope of miraculously trying and discover how we can live out the Heart’s Home charism more fully. Now that we have returned, we agree that although we did not learn the exact, one sentence, Webster’s definition of Heart’s Home, what we discovered in New York is much more valuable.
We were blessed to spend an entire day at the ICCC in upstate NY with Fr. Thierry. We spent the day walking around the peaceful land and marveling at the beautifully painted walls of the house. The day concluded with a sending forth Mass in the chapel where we made our commitment and received our rosaries, handmade with prayer by Sister Diana. They dangled from our wrists, reminding us that the rosary is what brought our house together as a Heart’s Home in the first place. Although we had been living as a community together for four months already, our commitment put into words what we had been living and gave us a concrete goal to strive for in the next few months. While speaking with Fr. Thierry, we began to realize that you can’t define Heart’s Home and put it into a box, you must experience the mission to really understand it.
Over the next few days we really entered into the daily life of Heart’s Home. We prayed, ate, worked, and visited neighbors with the community, realizing that we really do belong to the Heart’s Home family. We came to understand that Heart’s Home is not the result of extraordinary acts, but rather of very small, simple ones. The little things, such as listening to the stories of our friends in the nursing home, sharing coffee with the women at the shelter, or making a cake to celebrate a birthday, are far more effective than money, or medicine, or anything else. This simplicity is what we hope to take back to Spokane.
Our time in New York was precious. It was so good to see Melanie again and to meet Natalia, Severine, Laeticia, Sr. Regina, Marian, Fr. Paul, and Fr. Gonzague. We feel blessed and strengthened by the friendship we share with the New York community. We no longer are concerned with trying to define what Heart’s Home is for our friends. Our goal is to live and let our friends experience what it is through our presence to them. We look forward to continuing our journey in Spokane and we are very glad to know that we are not alone on the journey.