My pastoral assignment in the seminary this year is at the Italian Home for Children in Boston. It used to be an orphanage for Italian children many years ago, and now it’s a place for children experiencing a whole array of problems, for short or longer-term stays. It’s a tough time for the kids, as you might imagine. But it also can become one of the greatest times of their lives.
Sr. Margaret is the active Franciscan sister who leads up the spiritual development. There’s a little chapel with the memories of so many of the kids who have come through there in the past 20 years attached to the walls:
Here is the tabernacle:
It’s a blessing for me to be there!
So a few days ago, we had a visitor for the kids. Cristina Powell is only 23 years old but already has her own non-profit company, A Brighter Way. She makes her own artwork especially for lifting others up, she shares it in hospitals and other institutions for the sick and suffering.
Of course, there’s a lot more to know about Cristina. She is a living miracle. Here are her own words from her website:
I’m Cristina Powell. In 1988, when I was four days old, I was adopted from Lima, Peru. At fifteen months, I was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and a movement disorder… not expected to walk or talk… thankfully, I do both!
Cristina began to go to school at home, to learn in her own way, and to be herself. And her talents took off.
So in the chapel, Cristina got up in front of everyone and shared her story and her gifts with the kids. At the end, Sr. Margaret asked if anyone had any questions. One little boy said, “I think you should keep drawing.” Another 6-year-old boy said, “I think what you do is beautiful.” A twelve-year-old said, “I believe in you.”
Now, these are all kids that are far from home, in an institution where there’s a lot of tough stuff going on. It’s a few weeks before Christmas, so everything they’re going through is intensified. And they’re able to lift others up.
That’s a miracle.
That’s what happens when you get a glimpse of a brighter way.
Please don’t tell yourself, “I can’t!” I just know there has to be a better way for you. All you need to do is trust yourself and believe in yourself. You may not know it, but it’s leading you to…a brighter way.