LEARNING CONTINUOUSLY WITH MOTHER ASCENSION NICOL GOÑI
Whenever the month of February or May 14 arrives, the day we celebrate the Beatification of our MOTHER ASCENSION NICOL, sentimentally, we feel our umbilical cord united to this great woman. The desire to know her in depth grows more and more and the happiness of walking with her is even greater. In the perspective of reviewing our life, passing through the teachings of her virtues she left as a great example of life for every MDR generation, at every stage of life and formation. Her immortal and unforgettable presence in the life of the Congregation worldwide fills us with zeal, pride and passion to witness her life and mission. Her heroism, empowerment, loftiness, audacity, enlightenment and determination are a beacon that dazzles our path, to keep alive our mission and presence in the world. That is why every February 24, the day on which we celebrate her passing from this life, it always is unique and unrepeatable for it gives us the possibility to be in permanent renewal with her, drinking from the fresh water that never runs out.
Mother Ascension is still alive in our hearts today, she continues to leave her mark and thoughts that help us to strengthen our following of Jesus, from the reality, strengthening in us the desire to be her missionaries, Missionary Dominican Sisters of the Rosary, with much honor. Legacy that strengthens us from her life:
1. Deep interior listening: a woman with eyes of the soul, tuned to see beyond. A woman who knew how to listen and interiorize in a unique way, an attitude that made her always attentive to the needs, concerns and situations of each moment. With such a deep internalization that she moves and moves with her being, emotions and feelings that touch the sensitivity of her humanity, to the point of putting herself in the place of the other, descending to their misery for a quick and assertive response. She used to say: “For current issues, current answers”.
2. Capacity to assume risks: her capacity to assume risks was an example that impelled her in the realization of the missionary project, which she assumed in a personal way and made her leave her family, the convent of Huesca, undertake a long journey by boat, preferred the mountains than the city of Lima, passed through tortuous roads by mule, navigating through forests, rivers and unpaved roads and reached out to unfamiliar tribes and cultures. Ascension had a unique ability to know how to deal with uncertainty, suffering, needs, poverty and risk of people. This characteristic keeps our missionary flame alive in the world.
Another characteristic is “dissatisfaction”, not to accommodate to what exists. Like a painter who is not satisfied with his artistic work, he is always inspired to improve his work. A positive dissatisfaction that leads her to seek the best for the mission, for her daughters, for the formation, for the indigenous people.
She found in the jungle the place to search, “all for the greater glory of God and for the good of her brothers and sisters”.
This woman seeks God in the inhospitable places, in battered faces and in hearts broken by misery and poverty.
Her ability to take risks today leads us to undertake projects in favor of life and freedom, to fight against ignorance and the poverty of the people in the places where we are. To be a presence that speaks without words, transforming from simplicity and closeness to the people who need us most. May Ascension infect us with this spirit of renewal, that of always seeking the best. She used to say: “For the mission you need a tempered spirit”.
3. An empowered woman indeed: her spirit of empowerment led her to integrate the missionary project as part of her life with great determination. She praised humanity from her own life and presence. Everyone saw her as a mother, because in her heart she knew everything and everyone. She was a pioneer of gender, she showed the woman of the jungle how much she was worth for being the pillar of society, through the education she offers to her children. A woman raising the flag for other women. A natural leader, with a very strong inner strength, capable of facing the prejudices of the time, she asserted herself in society in the realization of God’s plan. She undertook educational, health and other projects to give the women of the jungle the opportunity to value themselves. Also today, we are called to raise the banner of gender, freeing ourselves from the prejudices of submission and domination of our reality.
4. Woman always present: We thank you Mother Ascension. For vocations in the Congregation and especially in our African continent. Every year we renew ourselves and toast with the presence of young people committed to our charism and in love with your ideal. They are the new yeast in the dough that is in permanent fermentation.
THANK YOU for always being alive in our lives, for the legacy you leave us, for being a Congregation that captivates young people, committing to the Gospel.
Thank you for the simplicity and humility in your story and in your life, may we also be simple women today.
With much affection,
Sister Rita João