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by Father Patricio de los Reyes SVD
Father de los Reyes is Provincial of the Botswana-Zambia-Zimbabwe of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD), www.svdbotswana.com . He has been recovering well from a brutal attack in December at his residence that left him gravely injured.
When I was born on 14 July 1956, everyone in the family thought I had inherited my father’s physical features, and so I inherited his name as Patricio de los Reyes Jr. But I was never meant to be just like my father. After high school graduation, my father suggested I should become a lawyer like him. But I said I wanted to become a missionary priest. So I did. I joined the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) in
A local newspaper in Botswana, Africa, visits a Filipino madre and likes what she’s doing.
“SISTER OF MERCY”: The Botswana newspaper report
SISTER MARY JO
Sister Marie Jose Garcia, or Sister Mary Jo as she is more usually called, is a very special person. Her name and work are becoming well known in Francistown, and many refer to her as the ‘Sister who helps the poor.’ We recently visited her to find out more.
She came to Serve
Sister Mary Jo arrived in Botswana from the Philippines in 1983. She came to serve, to reach, to teach and to share her faith. As a trained social worker, she applied for and was given a post with the Social Welfare office of the Francistown council. At that time the department was in its infancy, and there were four other officers, none of whom had been trained. Part of her job was to deal with the problems of juvenile delinquency, destitution, out of school youth like the street children. It was here that she to see the extent of the problem of the disadvantage. Many of these problems come she says, from increasing urbanization and the breakdown of traditional values and family ties. After six years she decided to leave the department in order to have more contact with the people she wished to serve. Accordingly, the council gave her a plot at Phase 6; and this is where Sister Jo now lives and works.