Our Peru Mission: A Vision for Mission Takes Shape

About the photo above: Hermana (Sister) María Luisa Ñaupari Gutiérrez, OP, who co-authored a powerful poem about the experience of ministry in Peru. 

How It All Started

For sixty years the lives of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield have been bound to the lives of the people of Peru. Construction of the new convent and community center in Jarpa is one more milestone in the journey that brings us together. But how did it all start? Here we share that spirit-led journey through excerpts from Flavors of Hope, a history of our mission in Peru, by Sister Judith Hilbing.

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This excerpt from Sister Judith Hilbing's Flavors of Hope is annotated and edited for clarity, context, and brevity.

“Constructors of a new future”: A vision for mission takes shape

Sister María Luisa Ñaupari Gutiérrez, now missioned in Jarpa, made her profession 1997. She and her classmates wrote this poem, “Dreaming Wakes Up Freedom,” published that year in an English language mission magazine. These excerpts may awaken the sense of what our sisters in Jarpa hope to accomplish with their ministry in the Huancayo archdiocese.

Can you help us “wake freedom” for the people of Jarpa today?

Dreaming Wakes Up Freedom What a sweet dream I had last night! I dreamt that everything was different I dreamt of freedom within my hands and no fear of the world. . . . In the streets there were no children, women, nor elderly abandoned, abused, or marginated. I saw a world where all would take hands the rich with the poor, the youth with the old, the white with the black and the men with the women. I could understand that each was capable of loving and loving oneself, of feeling unique and calling oneself for the first time the IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF GOD. . . . I saw many happy parents without bitterness sketched on their face because they had been dismissed from work. I looked at whole families united and established, where for them to live in a sand-pit and the poverty of straw huts does not mean separation. And there was the father who struggled for family love by leaving the house day after day searching for a miserable salary. The mother in her place sustaining sacrifice and understanding— no longer beaten unjustly by dreadful material poverty. Conscious that this world ought to be better and we constructors of a new future, we are called to be disciples of JESUS who knows how to share His Mission. . . .

Your gift to our Spring Appeal will breathe new life into Sister Maria’s dream of dignity and purpose for the people of Jarpa. Your support will help fulfill the dream she dreamed so long ago as a young sister, in which she “saw a world where all would take hands the rich with the poor, the youth with the old, the white with the black...” Please donate today to Sister Maria’s dream!

Sister Judith Hilbing

Sister Judi served for 25 years in Peru. She was principal of San Francisco Borja School in the Lima suburb of San Borja 1978-1984, then moved to the mission center of La Oroya, in Peru’s agricultural region, before returning to San Borja to oversee the religious education program for another year. In 1986 she became the founding principal of San Juan Pablo II, part of the Jesuit network of Fe y Alegria schools—Faith and Hope. The school was built in a squatters' colony on the outskirts of Lima, called an "invasion" or "pueblos jovenes"—a young city.  Four years later she was elected to the council for the congregation and returned to the United States.

Click here to make a donation to our sisters in Peru in honor of Sister Judi.

Ready to learn more?

Visit Our Mission Peru landing page to learn more about the construction projects and how you can help. 

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