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Posted October 17th 2019
When Ruth Chetambe was a little girl she and her elder sister, Beatrice, used to walk across the Cherengani Hills in North-west Kenya with their classmates, down to the little Holy Rosary school in Ortum, the “Hidden Valley.” When they arrived each morning Sister Angela Hennessy was there to meet them with warm water to wash their feet and uji porridge for breakfast.
Beatrice went on to become a teacher; Ruth is now a Holy Rosary Sister and Matron of Wonji Clinic in Ethiopia.
The wonderful thing about Mission is the way its blessings extend to the next and to further generations. This of course is true of all of life. Bishop Shanahan, founder of the Holy Rosary Sisters, foresaw this when he gave this very simple instruction to the first sisters starting out. “Teach them the secret,” he said, “of God’s living love right in the centre of their own hearts.”
Wonji is a general and maternity clinic, two hours south of Addis Ababa. The area is dry and dusty, and people suffer a lot from eye infections, which if untreated can lead to more serious complications. Worried by this, Ruth and her staff decided to hold an annual “Eye Camp”, a three-day event for anyone with eye-problems, with fully qualified eye specialists on hand for treatment. Over one thousand people turned up from far and wide. Some needed simple treatments, some surgery. Post-op patients were kept till next day for checking; many rejoiced to receive their sight again after years of suffering.
Ruth shares the happiness of a young man and his grandmother, both of whom needed eye treatment, and laughs with little Joseph who says simply, “Now I can see!”
Pope Francis prays: Heavenly Father,
Help us make it possible for all peoples
to experience the saving love
and mercy of Jesus Christ. Amen
The above article was published in The Irish Catholic on October 16th 2019