[Throughout the year, we’ll be posting periodic reflections from Sister Parish community members in honor of our 25th Anniversary. Today’s reflection is from Jackie Arreaza, who worked for Sister Parish in Guatemala with her husband, Walter, from 1991 to 2001. Jackie and Walter now live in Scotland, but are still strong supporters of the Sister Parish mission. You can read more 25th anniversary reflections from Sister Parish community members here.]
As I look back on the 25 years of Sister Parish, I remember celebrating the 10th anniversary in 1998. We made bookmarks as a joint effort between North and the South, using pieces of fabric woven in Guatemala, which we glued on to cards created in the USA which said “INTERWEAVING the strands of life; to build community, to change lives.” It then went on to say:
becoming a thread in the fabric of a Sister Parish hermanamiento weaves one into the dynamic spiritual web of life, seeking to achieve for oneself and for all others human dignity, freedom from oppression, personal and global peace and a just, equitable and sustainable lifestyle.
15 years later, I think this is more important than ever as our societies have become more individualistic and less community oriented and as we still seek the same dignity, peace and justice for all. How valuable is the Sister Parish experience for connecting people who would not usually meet! I was privileged enough to be a “weaver” of these threads for 9 years (between 1992 and 2001) and am so glad to see that these relationships are still going strong and still changing lives!