The hope placed on women

Por: Lisandra Peguero Ramírez

Un proyecto de vida
Congregación de las Hermanas de la Madre de Dios de la Misericordia
Congregation of the Sisters of the Mother of God of Mercy

The congregation of the Sisters of the Mother of God of Mercy was founded in 1862 in Warsaw, Poland. Her goal was to work with girls who needed a change in her morals as a woman. The congregation is also recognized by Saint Faustina Kowalska, a religious who for thirteen years in convent life had many visions and encounters with Jesus. In one of them he received a comforting message to the suffering world, which could only be defined as “God’s infinite mercy”.

The nun would have to convey this message to the whole world. From then on, the charism of the congregation would not only remain in change, but in showing that the only plan of salvation is the mercy of God who does not reject anyone, who always forgives as a good father who waits with open arms for the son who was lost in the ways of the world.

Every day, at 3:00 p.m., sisters pray and implore God’s infinite goodness for the intentions of the whole world and especially those who need more of their mercy, such as women who lose their dignity and deny being carriers of life. Moreover, as heirs of all devotion to Divine Mercy, they venerate the image of the Merciful Christ (Jesus with two rays, white and red), in clear reference to one of Jesus’ apparitions to Saint Faustina, in which he told her that by praying confidently before Him, people will obtain all the graces they need in this life and salvation for eternal one.

On May 19, 2015, at the invitation of Archbishop Juan de la Caridad García, then Archbishop of Camaguey, two of the sisters came to that archdiocese to proclaim God’s mercy in prayer, word and mission. His services began in the parish of Christ of the Good Journey, in the capital city of the territory; there they worked with the children in catechesis, accompanied young and sick, as well as visiting for one year all the groups of the apostolate of the Divine Mercy of the ecclesial region.

A life project

How does the woman discover where her dignity begins and ends, what happened to the human consciousness that was dragged over time, where was the look of life in every Cuban woman?

These were three questions asked by a lay collaborator and a religious of the Sisters of the Mother of God of Mercy. The questions prompted the undertaking of a path to respond to them. Thus was born the Esperanza project, an initiative that today promotes the value of life and insists on the recognition of motherhood as a sacred and unique gift that was granted to women.

Saving the life of the baby carrying a woman in her womb is the meaning of this mission. But how can we save that life if we don’t save the mother’s first? For her, the project wants to be that hope lost over time; be that reality that says, “Yes you can.” To be that show of love and understanding that was lost by so many lies and disappointments. Hence the name Esperanza, because in tune with the well-known popular phrase, “is the last thing to lose”.

From close proximity, the project reminds the woman that God loves her and that she is important to Him; who gave his only son to be happy by his side. Our joy is that women are recognized as a bearer of life and understand that their greatest greatness is in their love and compassion.

The Esperanza Project has three dimensions: the work with the woman who has had an abortion, with which she is pregnant and does not want to have her baby, and with the young people who today lost the value of life. We have a mission to bring hope to women who do not see a way out of difficult situations.

Proyecto Esperanza
Proyecto Esperanza

In tune with the words of St John Paul II in the Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem, for the Esperanza project, the dignity of women and their role as a mother is one of their priorities. Thus, in the document referred to, the Supreme Pontiff notes: “Motherhood, from the very beginning, implies a special openness to the new person; and this is precisely the ‘paper’ of women. In this openness, that is, in the conception and giving birth of the child, the woman ‘is fully done through the sincere gift of herself’. The gift of inner availability to accept the child and bring him into the world is linked to the marriage union which, as has been said, should constitute a particular moment of the reciprocal gift of self on the part of women and men.”
Every action that demonstrates the true vocation of women is very important in this civilization. No woman should feel humiliated or abused, because because of the vocation she received as a carrier of life, she is already privileged.

Being a mother is not just giving birth, it means giving love to that child who seeks support in her, because she knows that she will always be there for him. A mother loves, trusts her child, wants the right path for him. All these values and teachings we want to convey to our mothers as a message of the project.

Cuba is a country where most mothers raise their children alone. Hence, the experience the project has had with pregnant women who regret having an abortion is different. We offer you the truth that has no race, religious belief, ideology, party; only the truth of love and the life that leads them one way. We want to be that breath of hope that brings faith back to this Island in God’s love; that Faith that is not afraid to go to the tramp, the ex-con, the politician, the doctor, the teacher, the housewife.
In conclusion, we want to share a testimony, which may serve as an example for many and many.

It is a family of four brave women who have decided to defend life over any circumstance. In 2018, we met in the Centennial waiting room (the place where abortions are performed) of a nurse of forty-two years, who wanted to terminate her pregnancy. Her husband had abandoned her, leaving her with two daughters, one of sixteen and one of seven. He had gone to Spain in search of a better life. She lived alone with her daughters, her mother and a niece. As she listened to us in the hospital, she realized that she was going to attack what she supported and defended in her years as a nurse; mused and changed his decision. Very close to childbirth, the niece approached her, told her she was pregnant and her boyfriend did not support her having it. She supported him, giving him courage to repent as she once did. The story doesn’t end here. A short time later, her sixteen-year-old daughter arrived at the pregnant house. His mother’s response was simple: “We will have another member in the family.” All three had males and today they are proud and happy mothers for their children.

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