During orientation, we were asked to create a mission statement to guide our service in Jamaica. We were given almost no direction and, as a result, produced seven unique and different plans of action for the next year. Some were sentimental, a few were poetic, and one was an amazing extended metaphor of a hike through a jungle. Here is what I wrote:
The first time I told people I planned on spending a year in Jamaica, the response I received was always “What will you be doing?” My parents, my friends, my teammates, my taxi drivers, people I met in elevators, my professors… everyone I interacted with asked me this same question. The constant refrain of the inquiry made it impossible not to dwell on it. What would I actually be doing? The more I thought about it, the more I realized this question was not an accurate way to look at the next year of my life. I have been raised in a culture of constant going, acting, moving, and doing. Production and efficiency is often seen as the only worthwhile result of action. Throughout my year as a PVI, however, I want to focus on something more than constant doing. I have a strong desire to instead use this experience to focus on being.
I want to be a source of strength, love, and compassion for the crucified of today. I want to be with them in their difficulties, their moments of weakness, their successes, and their joys. I hope to spend each day laughing, playing, crying, loving, and listening to the communities I serve. Instead of having the constant desire to “do something” about the issues I come across, I wish to be content with serving through my presence, through being with the people I meet. I want to end each day tired, feeling as if I have given a little bit more of myself to the people of Jamaica.
I also want to focus on being more fully present with Christ. I want to spend time with Him in prayer, meet Him in mass, and see Him in those around me. I want to be a reflection of His presence on Earth to each individual I meet. By shifting my life philosophy fromdoing to being, I wish to challenge myself to grow and deepen my relationship with God. Each day, I want to be more conscious to how He is working in my life. In my relationships with my fellow PVI community, I hope to become an integral part of a bizarre, hilarious, supportive, and loving family. I want to be with them through each mistake, hard day, and argument as well as each moment of happiness, spontaneity, and joy. By focusing on being rather thandoing, I plan to spend this year loving more fully and completely than I ever have before.
Above Kaitlin is pictured at a home for the elderly and Above Kailtin is pictured at a Basic School infirm in Balaclava with the Missionaries of Charity where she will serve as a teacher’s aide. Sisters, where she will serve a few days out of her week.