I grew up in Omaha and attended Duchesne Academy where my love for Philippine began. After hearing the legacy of her life each year I couldn’t help but love and appreciate all she did to bring God’s love to all she met. Yet, as a teenager did I really understand the sacrifices Philippine made in God’s footsteps? Probably not, but I was influenced enough to follow God in a deeper way in my own life.
Fifteen years in St Charles, Missouri walking in the footsteps of Philippine brought me closer to understanding what we have learned from her, but it wasn’t until I came to Abba House that I realized the true meaning of Gavin Duffy’s words about Philippine: Simple duties daily done. Watching these women serve each other as they go about their simple duties daily done is inspirational. Whether it is making sure there is water in the coffee maker, passing the mail, or grabbing something in the kitchen for someone else, they continue to serve each other. Their generous spirits shine during the transition periods of welcoming new members and accompanying those who need to move on from here. What have we learned from Philippine? Simple duties daily done and I am privileged to witness this practice continuing today.
Mary Jo McFayden, RSCJ
See some of the images that may have inspired Sister Mary Jo McFayden.