I often think about Isa at the Loyola 2016 activities. Seeing her so radiant made me wonder, “What is this woman’s secret?” I was struck by her ever-present smile… and such serenity! It was clear she lived in the moment, deeply grateful, rooted in Life… in God…
Between activities we were able to speak a few times. She tirelessly asked others, “Hey, how about coming to Haiti?”
Isa, missionary, role model… someone who questions, and whose life proclaims that whoever loses his life will be saved…
THANK YOU, ISA, FOR YOUR TESTIMONY AND FOR INSPIRING LOVE FOR JESUS AND FOR THE WORLD’S POOREST…
-Maria Jose Garcia Calvo, rjm
Although time passes by, you live on in our hearts. On September 2, 2017, a year will have passed since the day you left our side to go to another better place, to live in the light and enjoy the eternal embrace of the God you so loved, and who wanted you for himself…
You know what? I cannot speak of you without addressing you directly. My heart still aches, but it is also full of all the love you sowed, you transmitted…, you gave… You gave your life, Isa, your entire life, you didn’t keep anything for yourself… Often, during the interminable 365 days since you went away, I have felt the words from Ecclesiastics 2:1-7 in my heart, words that you put to music and sang so naturally:
“If you come to serve the Lord, prepare your soul for testing, set your heart straight, be steadfast, and don’t act hastily in a time of distress. Hold fast to God and don't keep your distance from him, so that you may find strength at your end. Accept whatever happens to you, and be patient when you suffer humiliation because gold is tested with fire, and acceptable people are tested in the furnace of humiliation. Trust him, and he will help you; make your ways straight, and hope in him.”
What can I say of you that you haven’t said yourself, through your life and your singing? You sang this song from Ecclesiastics so calmly, and perhaps without you knowing it, the words became the reality of your life. Just as simply, with a beautiful smile on your lips, you made the word LOVE reality. For this we remember you and carry you in our hearts…
When we celebrated our silver jubilees
San Gervasio, August 30, 2012, Barcelona
-Maite Valls, R.J.M.
Intense…..in her living, in her praying, in her working, in her playing (especially swimming)
Speedy…in her actions, in her thoughts, in her responses, Single-minded -Singlehearted
Active….in her movements, (except when it came time to walk up a hill)
Spiritually ….connected with her environment, ‘soul mating with me’, eyes fixed on Jesus
Obsessive…. In meeting the needs of the poor, in fighting for their rights, in turning every stone
Loving…..people, praying, photography, music, art, architecture, nursing, education
Attractive……physically, spiritually, socially, in her motivations
Isa, you are so missed by Vivian
I am attaching our last picture in the Clementine Chapel, in the Vatican Basilica after Mass. It is really meaningful: the faith of Peter, his friendship and love with Jesus, his courage, his life given, the faithfulness of the Lord...all this speak about Isa’s life.
There are the Chalice and cross, the altar, Peter’s grave...
And I can hear her laugh, and still feel her embrace and love. Those last days with her in Rome were a huge unexpected gift we both acknowledged and thanked.
-Yudith Pereira Rico, RJM
Some years ago, there was a conference in Rome on Religious Life. The theme was “Passion for Christ, Passion for the World.”
My experience of Isa was that she was a passionate woman – passionate about her ideas, her projects, her perceptions.
But the heart of her intensity was her passion for Jesus Christ, and for those with whom Jesus identified himself: “Whatever you did to the least of these, it was to me.”
She was single-hearted and unconditionally given to responding to ‘the cry of the poor.’ Let us honor that legacy.
-Rosemary Mangan, RJM
“ Haiti es mi casa, mi family, mi trabajo, mi sufrimiento, y mi alegria, y mi lugar de encuentro con Dios.”
This statement, spoken by Isa after the devastating 2010 earthquake, is one of the strongest, and fondest, memories I have. It speaks not only of the tremendous love and passion she had for Haiti and for the poor. It lays open her heart and offers a glimpse into the sacred spaces where she found and experienced God – in the “both/and” of daily life, in the reality that surrounded her, in the people among whom she ministered and lived for eight short years.
-Margaret Perron, RJM