Sisters Ana and Nancy share experiences of their first few days of our new mission in Bariloche, in the Provenance. of Rio Negro in the South of Argentina. They arrived in Bariloche, on 24th October 2017 as the founding members of our new mission accompanied by
Sr. Brigida during their first week.
All three of us got a great ‘send off’ from our Sisters Noemí, Vicky, Patricia, Verónica and Joan before we left our home in Barrio Parque, Moreno, Prov.of Buenos Aires and previously in Victoria with Sr. Matilde. So, blessed with the strength of the farewell we began our 1,565 kilometre bus journey to the South. It was a very pleasant, relaxed, twenty one hour journey to our new temporary home here in Bariloche. We slept most of the time as the tiredness of the last while caught up with us, We arrived in good shape to be warmly welcomed by Fr. Miguel and Sr. Adriana who brought us and our ‘mountain’ of bags, by car, to the home we will occupy for the next month.
We enjoyed a welcome meal with Fr. Miguel, Fr. Diego, Sr. Alfonsia and Sr. Adriana. After a short while we set out with Fr. Miguel to walk around some of the neighbourhoods for the best part of three hours.
There´s no doubt the needs are great – the material needs of the people were plain for us to see today and as we continue to walk this sacred space, we will be able to discover other needs as we listen and share stories and also discover the richness of God´s Kingdom already here in these hidden parts of Argentina. It will take some time to settle down, but the community of Salesians, the Sisters of the Holy Spirit and two other Sisters, who do not live too far away, all work together so we know we will be well accompanied in the weeks and months ahead. We also had a visit from one of the priests of the Diocese (who works with those who live on the streets) and two Sisters. It seems word has got around that the Dominicans have arrived in Bariloche!
We are grateful to Fr. Diego, took us by car to get an ‘over all’ look around the parish which is very big and has approximately 35, to 40,000 people. It is amazing to see such poverty and then lift one’s eyes to the beautiful mountains covered in snow – where the tourists come to ski.
At the weekend we hope to help alongside other religious of the Diocese during the pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of the Snows as we accompany the people and entrust this new mission to Our Lady. With this pilgrimage, the Bishop, Mons. Juan José Chaparro will initiate the beginning of the celebration of the Silver Jubilee of the Diocese.