Hello my name is Wendy V. Ramírez, I’m a Disciple here in the Boston Mission, soon to be going to help with the foundation of the NY Mission. I grew up in a loving Catholic family although we didn’t always go to church or would only go on to mass on Sundays, I always had a special relationship with God. I remember praying every night with my parents and having conversations throughout my day with God as if He were my friend who I could always count on. I always felt the strong sense that God had created me to live something special with Him and throughout many points of my life He has confirmed this, from the first moment my heart became restless for the missionary life when I had just turned 16, to the moment when I first felt that I did not belong to this world but that I belonged to Him, in these last years I can see how God has slowly been revealing who He is calling me to be.
At that time, I thought that living that “special” with God meant the religious life, so I began to discern with 3 different communities, the Missionary Carmelites, the Charismatic Discípulas de Jesús and a Franciscan community that is actually originally from Brazil. But the more I got to know them I soon realized that I couldn’t pick just one without compromising a part of my identity, I wouldn’t be able to be true to who God had made me to be. For years I had had this restless heart for the missionary life, yet I had my deep experience with God through the Charismatic form of prayer, but I had always felt so attracted to the radical way the Franciscans are called to live in total abandonment, surrender and poverty. Years later God invited me to move across the country, something I really did not want to do. Praying one night I remember saying to God “Okay God, even if I’m kicking and screaming all the way across the country, if it’s your will let it be done.” I felt so much peace in my heart and I started to cry because I really didn’t want to move but I trusted in God’s will for my life so soon after I moved leaving behind my life. The first year was extremely hard not being able to understand why God had asked me to move. A year later, my dear friend Billy introduced me to the community. I didn’t understand it at first but the more I got to know the community the more I fell in love with everything and I could identify with so many aspects of the Charism. I could feel God looking down at me smiling and saying “Okay Wendy, here is the Shalom Catholic Community, they are missionary, charismatic and even Franciscan… what else did you want!?”
During my vocational discernment year in 2017 I had the great grace to participate in the 35th Year Anniversary Convention in Rome where we gathered thousands of people from all over the world. Different nations, cultures and languages coming together in such a beautiful way and my heart was conquered by this special call that the community has to be bridges between cultures and nations to break down all language barriers. It didn’t matter that we didn’t speak or pray in the same language because we were all united in the language of the Spirit, the language of love. I was born in Mexico and grew up here in the United States so I always had this struggle that we couldn’t have the cultures together, that we are too different and it wouldn’t work. However, being there in Rome, God gave me a new perspective, a new call to be a bridge between His people, and I could see how through the Charism God was fulfilling every one of my deepest desires, desires that even I didn’t know existed within me. I understood that I belong to Him and that since the moment He was forming me, He had engraved SHALOM on my heart with fire. And now I have the great privilege to wake up every morning in gratitude and say thank you Lord for having chosen me!