Daughters of Wisdom of Long Island, New York
The mission of the Intercultural Community of the Daughters of Wisdom in Huntington Station, NY is among Long Island’s immigrant population. In the past three years, the immigrant population on Long Island has doubled. Nearly one in five Long Islanders is now born outside of the United States. The Intercultural Community is in the Parish of St. Hugh of Lincoln where there is an extensive Hispanic community with new immigrants and a multiplicity of unmet needs.
The members of the community include Sr. Bernadette Sassone and Sr. Marilyn Soeder both Americans and Sr. Teresa de Jesús Aguilar Avila of Colombia and Sr. María Jesús Pinedo Aguilar from Peru, also Daughters of Wisdom. They have been together for almost a year. Sr. Teresa arrived on April 24, 2016 and Sr. María arrived on June 8, 2016.
Sr. Teresa and Sr. María are studying in The Opening Word Program. This program teaches English as a Second Language (ESL) to immigrant women. Audrey Schroeder (Associate of Wisdom) volunteers in the program. Sr. Maria and Sr. Teresa are more than students in these English classes. Sr. Teresa and Sr. Maria have developed relationships with the women that are part of their ministry. Sr. Maria said, “Every day we are in contact with the sufferings of others. The women in the English classes are looking for a way to communicate their pain – I am so moved by their pain.”
All four Sisters are involved in ministry to the immigrant Hispanic population of Huntington Station. Sr. Marilyn and Sr. Bernadette have started English classes in the evenings for working men. Sr. Teresa teaches Hispanic women to read and write in Spanish. Sr. María visits families in their homes.
The Provincial Leadership Team accompanies and meets with the community every six to eight weeks. Sr. Jane Reilly, CSJ works with us an interpreter.
The goals of the Accompaniment Process are:
A new movement
The commonality of purpose in mission brings this community together. Through the experience of intercultural living they are growing in an awareness and appreciation of their own cultures and the cultures of others. The Sisters recognize the richness and what a great gift this experience is for the congregation – “We are founders in a new movement.”