San Francisco Holds Annual Assembly

Pictured above: Sister Ana Maria Pineda, RSM, (left) takes advantage of a slide from her book, Romero and Grande, Companions on the Journey, to meet up with her long-time companion, Presentation Sister Gloria Loya (right). In the 80s, they became the founding co-directors of Hispanic ministry in the Diocese of San Jose.

by Sister Gloria Loya

We celebrated our beloved Nano Nagle during these days. We initiated our time together with a reflection on Blessed Oscar Romero and Rutilio Grande, S.J.  Nano, Oscar and Rutilio are each through their own narratives living models for us as Presentation because they continue the tradition of Gospel, prophesy and hope for our time.

Sister Ana Maria Pineda, RSM, guided our morning reflection by sharing key points of her published work, Romero and Grande, Companions on the Journey.  Through the lens of Ana Maria’s life experience (she was born in El Salvador), she presented a contemporary journey of two very different men who became friends and who took risks for the sake of the poor; risks that lead each to martyrdom. According to Pineda, each slowly evolved to become completely dedicated to the People of El Salvador, who were so cruelly oppressed.

Nano’s charism and our Presentation mission continue in our continent today through us. We are called to join in the same spirit with Rutilio Grande and Oscar Romero, who will be canonized this fall.  Moreover, we walk in solidarity with the people of Central America and Mexico who struggle for peace and justice for their families. Our challenge is greater than ever to accompany our immigrants from Central America and Mexico whose families are now being separated at our borders. We can be encouraged by a few words from the prayer of Oscar Romero which was proclaimed at the beginning of the day’s reflection.

It helps now and then to step back and take the long view.  The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vison.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is at work.  Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of saying that the kingdom.

Always lies beyond us.

We cannot do everything.  And there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.

But that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.  We are all workers, not the master builders. We are ministers, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future that is not our own. Amen.