Posted December 30, 2005 in MH Combermere ON:
Notes from Near and Far: Combermere, Ontario

by Emmanuella Kim, St. Joseph’s House, Combermere. St. Joseph’s House is our mission house for the local area. Emmanuella, who is from Korea, is a new staff worker.

It is a few months since I moved to St. Joseph’s House.

I am working at St. Ed’s (the shop where we pass on at a nominal fee some of the donations we are given) with Bernadette Gonzales. My main job is to sort toys and help her.

I think you can imagine how many things I had to learn at my first assignment. I thank God for my sisters who taught me how to count money, to charge prices, to take care of the chickens, etc.

We had a very busy summer. It was amazing to see how many people came to shop and buy. Some of them come from the city and stay at their cottages, but there are many local people, too, who have lots of children and grandchildren.

I like to see the people sitting on the bench in front of the clothing room and visiting with each other, and the children playing with the toys they bought at our shop. The shop is a sort of meeting place where people see their old friends.

We are invited to supper many times by local people. Whenever we visit them, I can feel they love St. Joseph’s House. I know it is because the staff who have been here have loved them and served them. That love comes to me and the staff at the house now. Please pray for us that we can continue giving the people love.

Jo-Anne Paquette leads a youth meeting every other week, and she and Bernadette took them for a retreat at the Franciscan University at Steubenville, Ohio. You should see how much they desire to praise God and love him after they came back. And they love to get together.

We now have Internet; we entered the 21st century! It’s slow but it works well. We were able to find cheap tickets on it for our vacations.

Peter Lyrette, our man staff worker, is a great presence of man here and in the valley. He brings laughter and stories and rhubarb-raspberry pies, and does things like painting the window frames in the clothing room, building a new woodshed, and fixing the chicken coop.

We had a visitation from the three directors general. We had a talk, tour, Mass and supper together. We talked about a lot of things—our mandate, material things, community life, relationships with each other, etc. I think we got lots of grace through them—just their being with us and listening to us. It made us open our minds more.

Sometimes it seems to me impossible to make family because we are all so different. But Jesus says, “Everything is possible in me.” I believe that. Now I have to let him live in me, be with me, and love me. I am so excited to see him working in us.

And what I find very interesting is that God is always working in us even though we have a hard time with each other and emotions and anger. In the middle of this, I saw someone get grace through us. It is amazing to me. God is so touchable and visible. I think I am getting really good lessons since living here through lots of struggling.


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