I thank God for using me as an instrument to help in His mission work in Loreto Convent Darjeeling. I started my journey on 4th May 2022, and I remembered well the clear blue sky, the hooting of the steam engine and the serenity of the town that greeted me when I arrived. The school was already in a celebrity mode preparing for a finale of its Jubilee to commemorate 175 years of the arrival of the Loreto Sisters in the hills and their contribution to its education which entailed instilling of the Loreto Values among the people of the hills.
Looking back at its history, I would like to compare the character of the location chosen for the school to the pine trees that stand steadfast, strong and steady. These trees are aware of their mission and thankfully acknowledge the graces they have received from God as they grew from sapling into a tall, stately tree. They bear silent witness to the fact that outward appearances notwithstanding, plant health is dependent on the condition of the roots which lie underground. They know intuitively that is God's love and tender care that has nurtured them and enabled them to reach for the sky, withstanding inclement weather, snow and storm. In a similar manner our pioneering Loreto sister placed their faith and trust in the will of God and their work and teachings resonate in the simple dignity of the people living in Darjeeling and its neighbourhood.
In the words of Robert Frost-
"The woods I love you dark and deep,
But I have promised to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep."
Robert Frost's message is reflected in the life and work of the Loreto Sisters and staff, who work tirelessly to ensure standards of excellence in the students. Not only was I struck by their creativity and leadership qualities but also by the guidance provided to them by their teachers whose commitment, dedication and resilience were clearly evident during the dark days of the pandemic. Through their efforts they ensured that the online teaching- learning platform did not only help the children academically but also did not hamper their natural growth development.
I would like to conclude by quoting the maxims of Mary Ward that, " We are called to the vocation of love" and "God loves cheerful giver". We are indeed privileged to have been called by God for this noble task building global citizens who work towards making the world a better place for "you and for me".
Sr. A. Arockia Mary Dass