Sr. Juana Ma. Rivera OSB

They Make a Desert and We Call it Peace

By Sr. Juana Ma. Rivera, OSB

THE BENEDICTINE SISTERS have two foundations in Angola: One in Luanda and one in Menongue. The one in Menongue has a clinic where Sr. Juana Ma. Rivera, OSB found herself in the middle of civil war between the Angolan government and the Unita Rebels.

Would I see my native land again?

So bad was our situation that I thought I would never see my native land, the Philippines, again nor could I even imagine being at home for Christmas, united with my Sisters and with my family. But the grace of God gave us the courage to face the horrible bombings and made us persevere in our mission with the Angolan people as we tried to give hope to the hopeless, I can’t find the words to describe what we underwent during the nine months if isolation, but I will try to remember what and how it happened.

Irma Wama and the Special Smile

By Sr. Juana Maria OSB

‘Irma Wama’ is a strange name for a Filipino; it is the pet name which is the people of  Luanda, Angola, Africa, give Sister Juana Maria, a Benedictine Sister working among them as a missionary these past three years. Sr. Juana Maria is a dentist and, in her missionary works, uses her skills as a dentist as her way of bringing God’s love to the people. Of course, thing are not easy in Angola at the moment because, for the past 30 years or more, a war has been raging. But in the midst of this, as missionary like Sr. Juana Maria must struggle, on doing what she can.

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No Water/ No Antibiotics
One Friday, I was reluctant to give dental service in one of the remote villages, where the only source of water was a dirty lagoon eight kilometers away. I could afford to use only a little water for eight persons waiting for dental extraction. However, in spite of the fact that I had no antibiotics, no analgesics, all worked out well. I came to realized: “The Lord has a special eye for the poor.