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“United Through Understanding” was the theme of our recent TEXLA meeting in March 2019 at the Villa de Matel. Sr. Deenan Hubbard director, CCVI Associates welcomed attendees to the Villa and opened with a reflection and silent prayer. Joan Cordes and Janet Mayorga co-coordinators facilitated the meeting.

In meetingThe morning presentation was a TED talk “The Danger of a Single Story” presented by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie from Nigeria. She came to the United States to study and told how having a single story about people can present a distorted view. Knowing only one story leads to stereotypes, and robs people of their dignity. Knowing many stories leads to greater knowledge and understanding. Neither people nor country have a single story. The talk encouraged us to reject the single story. Small group breakout sessions produced very animated discussions and sharing of personal stories in response to the talk.

The afternoon speaker was Dina Al Bayati, a Case Manager for the Refugee Resettlement Program of Catholic Charities. Dina arrived in the USA from Iraq with her family in 2009 as a refugee. She and her family were granted a special visa for refugees. She explained how disruptive and frightening the experience was for a young person. It was difficult to learn English, go to school, get a job and adapt to a new country. She often felt isolated, fearful and unable to trust others. The resettlement program directs refugees to the most appropriate programs for their needs. It helps them with documents, housing and resettlement. Following a question and answer session, we broke into small discussion groups. It was the consensus that participants gained new insight about the refugee programs.

In MeetingThe day closed with a song and blessing. We departed with much to reflect on and a greater understanding of the needs of refugees and the importance of rejecting a single story.Four women in discussion

Joan Cordes, Cojourner
Sisters of St. Francis
Rochester, MN
  Janet Mayorga, Associate
Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word
Houston, TX. 

In discussion at tablesWomen in discussion at tables

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News from TEXLA – March 2018

The first meeting of TEXLA was held at the Dubois Conference Center at the Villa de Matel in Houston, TX on March 10, 2018. This was an introductory meeting to discuss the formation, structure, and vision for our Regional Chapter.

Janet Mayorga, CCVI Associate and co-chair, facilitated the meeting. Joan Cordes, co-chair, was unable to attend due to illness. Sister Deenan Hubbard, Director of Associates of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word Houston, (CCVI) welcomed all to the Villa de Matel and gave the opening prayer.

All attendees were asked to introduce themselves and to include a short summary of their congregation, charism and what drew them to become an Associate.

Seven Congregation or Associate representatives were present:

Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word Houston, TX

Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, Houston, TX

Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, Victoria, TX

Missionary Carmelites of St. Teresa, Houston, TX

Congregation of the Holy Spirit, Houston, TX

Religious of the Sacred Heart, Houston, TX

Sisters of St. Francis of Rochester, MN (in absentia)

Thirty-five participants attended. In addition, there were several other congregations, including those from El Paso, San Antonio, Austin and Corpus Christi that expressed an interest in TEXLA and wish to be informed of all future meetings.

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