Riberalta (Agenzia Fides) - The community of the Dominican Sisters of Maryknoll celebrate 100 years since the founding of the congregation and 70 years of their presence in Bolivia. The missionaries are in the poorest areas of Bolivia: La Paz, Santa Cruz, Beni, and in the Apostolic Vicariate of Pando, where the missionary work is coordinated throughout Bolivia, closely with lay missionaries. Sister Nancy Connor, who lives in La Paz, recalls that the first nuns who arrived in Bolivia settled in the village of Riberalta, in the forest, where they later built a hospital. "This was the first mission in Latin America, the cradle of our mission," underlines Sister Nancy. At the time the population was not very big, and the nuns were able to visit all the sick, house by house.
The origins of the congregation dates back to January 16, 1912, when a group of women led by Josephine Rogers (1882-1955) who later became the first superior general of the congregation, began working at the secretariat of the Maryknoll missionary seminary (New York) . The sisters, now present in all the continents, are dedicated to teaching, health care, missionary work and social activity.
Following their founder, Sister Mary Josephine Rogers, who said "there is nothing more amazing as life, the greatest miracle is growth and development," her spiritual daughters are still encouraged to contemplate the wonderful works of God in people. "Many social projects that we started years ago have now expanded- says Sister Nancy – such as the project of San Miguel and the rehabilitation center for children with disabilities. This work was initiated by a aly woman and now accommodates several children and their families".
For the Maryknoll woman religious, the 70-year Riberalta represent a large growth, for which we must thank all the people who opened their arms and their hearts to the mission "from afar". "The future of our Church is in youth that want to build a work for one’s neighbor such as the kingdom of God, a kingdom of love and justice", says Sister Nancy. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 22/3/2012)