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       Letter to Padre Nilo   (text below)          Letter to Missionaries of Charity    (text below)       Letter to CSA Sisters in Nicaragua    (text below)                                                                                             

   Waspam Events

 October 2018

Waspam Says Farewell to CSA with Gratitude and Blessings for 73 Years of Service

Introduction:

In December 1945 the Sisters of St. Agnes arrived in Waspam,Río Coco, Nicaragua, to begin ministry in health care and in education.  The mission they embraced has continued and developed for 73 years.

Now the time has come for the Sisters of St. Agnes to say good-bye as they transfer their ministry in San Rafael Parish, Santa Inés and Clínica Santa Inés to the Missionaries of Charity of Mary Immaculate, whose headquarters are in Guatemala.  As the school year closes in November 2018, the last two Sisters of St. Agnes serving in Waspam, Sister Esperanza Rico and Sister Rose Kowalski, will move to Managua and Rosita, respectively.

On October 24-26, 2018, a variety of parish and civic events were held to honor the presence and ministry of over 50 Sisters of St. Agnes in Waspam since 1945.  These events included:

~a festive Eucharistic Liturgy at San Rafael Church on October 25; Bishop David Zywiec Sidor, Capuchin, of the newly created Diocese of Siuna, was present together with Father Nilo Mitchel, pastor of the parish;

~the municipality of Waspam prepared an exhibit at La Casa Cultural featuring the legacy of the Sisters of St. Agnes in Waspam from the beginnings of the mission until the present;

~the municipality also sponsored a reception and refreshments, with many guests attending from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education and the parish;

~at Colegio Santa Inés, a Cultural Performance was held on October 25; later everyone walked from the school through the streets of Waspam in celebration of the occasion;

~on October 26, the Rhythm Band of the school marched through Waspam as a salute to the presence of CSA for 73 years in Waspam, Río Coco;

Sister Petrona Herrera sent photos from the celebration at San Rafael Parish in order to share the spirit of the Ceremony for the Closing of the Mission-October 25, 2018.

October 24, 2018
Padre Nilo Mitchell
Parroquia San Rafael
Waspam, Rio Coco
RA.AN., Nicaragua

Dear Padre Nilo,

May the blessings of God be with you and all your parishioners today. The day is special as the Sisters of St. Agnes are giving thanks for the gift of 73 years of service in the parish of San Rafael, Colegio Santa Ines, and ClinicaSanta Ines. The years of service by the sisters included their work along the Rio Coco as well as in settlements in the area>

All the sisters in the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes join in prayer with you today as we celebrate our wonderful partnership with the priests, deacons, teachers, doctors, nurses and the many people who have made these 73 years so fruitful for the work of the Gospel. The sisters are blessed by all students who have attended Colegio Santa Ines over the years. Our sisters have worked with generations of young girls and boys who have gone forth to share the gift of their learnings with others. Individuals who have come to the clinic for healing are able to go forth and continue their lives knowing that they have received care in a safe environment. Religious education and health classes have been provided by the sisters alongside many others who have learned the teachings of Jesus and the Church over the years.

Now it is time for the Missionaries of Charity of Mary Immaculate to continue the works of the Gospel in areas of education, healthcare and parish outreach. We are grateful for their willingness to serve in this area of Nicaragua, in the Atlantic region and along the Rio Coco.

Our congregation has been blessed by our work among the people of this region. We ask your prayers and promise you our prayers as we give thanks for all that has been and beg our God for blessings on all that is yet to be.

With every good wish for God's gracious blessings, I remain united with you

In the peace and love of Christ,

Sister Jean Steffes, CSA
General Superior

October 24, 2018
Missionaries of Charity of Mary Immaculate
Waspam, Rio Coco
R.A.A.N., Nicaragua

Dear Sisters,

Greetings from the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes. We are grateful for your presence here in Waspam. Your commitment continues the grace-filled work in which the Sisters of St. Agnes have had the privilege of serving these past 73 years. Though there have been challenges, the blessings, through the grace of God, have always out-weighed the difficulties. So many lives have touched our lives. The works of education, health care and parish ministry have brought blessings to our community. As our Constitutions state, "We participate in the mission of Jesus Christ through teaching, healing, and related ministries, aware that we, too, are among the needy and are enriched by those we serve."

We ask God's blessing on your congregation, the Missionaries of Charity of Mary Immaculate, as you assume the roles of leadership at Colegio Santa Ines and Clinica Santa Ines. The work in Waspam and along the Rio Coco is work closely connected to the heart of Jesus who in his life took special care to teach and heal in all his encounters. We promise to keep you and your service in our prayers and ask that you pray for the on-going work of the Sisters of St. Agnes.

With every good wish for God's grace and blessings, I remain

Sincerely yours in the peace and love of Christ,

Sister Jean Steffes, CSA
General Superior

October 24, 2018
Dear Sisters,

Greetings to you on this special day. Today we celebrate and give thanks to God for the 73 years that the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes has been privileged to serve the people of Waspam. The request from the Capuchin friars to join their ministry was made in the early 1940s and, by 1945, the Sisters of St. Agnes began their work in healthcare, education and parish outreach among the Miskito Indians living along the Rio Coco.

So many blessings have been ours over the years. The early sisters came to this remote area of Nicaragua not knowing how they would accomplish the ministries set out for them. Though there were "ups-and-downs," all was graced by the assurance that this was the work of God and the Sisters of St. Agnes were there to assist in whatever ways they could. The reality soon set in, and, as expressed in words we pray each day, "it is the weak of the world who confound the strong."Undaunted, the sisters set about the work and established a school, clinic, catechetical ministry, and wellness outreach in Waspam and along the Rio Coco.

We are grateful for the Missionaries of Charity of Mary Immaculate who have accepted the call to come to this area that has been "home"to us for so many years. We ask God's blessing on them as they continue this sacred mission in the "peripheries" of Nicaragua.

May God continue to be with each of you as you continue your ministries of service and presence. May these words from our Constitutions be with you in this time of transition: "Joined in religious community, we strive to root our lives in Jesus Christ and to live with singleness of purpose: that among us and in our world the risen Christ be discovered and revealed."

In the peace and love of Christ,

S. Jean Steffes, CSA
General Superior