Daily Grind

Daily Grind

Monday, August 12, 2013

Teaching and Learning – the Dominican Way


What must it be like to leave the family you were born into, and to leave behind the language and culture of your country to go halfway around the world?  Frightening!  That was the experience of our immigrant ancestors.  My parents, for example, came to this country as children, my father from Armenia and my mother from Turkey.  They had so much to learn!

Sister Vong, O.P. and Sister Lien, O.P. are currently living at our motherhouse at Sinsinawa WI.  They left their Dominican Convent in North Vietnam and accepted a mission in obedience to come to the U.S., to learn English and then to acquire degrees in order to go back to their sisters in North Vietnam to teach them.  Their teachers? Many of the retired (former teachers) who reside at Sinsinawa.

Several weeks ago, Sister Vong renewed her vows as a Dominican.  The ceremony was a truly bi-lingual experience.  Lien welcomed everyone – in both Vietnamese and English – with aplomb and
great poise.  After communion Sister Vong sang to us! Then, because their families and their Dominican Community in Vietnam were watching via the internet, we were all invited to wave to them!!

This is a reminder to me that we always have something to teach and something to learn.  Who has been your teacher lately?  And what is it that you have taught to someone else?

Ruth Poochigian, O.P.
Madison WI

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