“Let us live in such a way that people will have ample reason to speak well of us.” – Don Bosco
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Missionary Story

Sister Patricia Lacharite, FMA

Our 2011 campaign was to help educate and evangelize the Gabra girls in North Horr. Our very own Canadian born Salesian Sister Patricia Lacharite, FMA is in charge of the project. She shared with us that there is never a dull moment in the Chalbi desert. On a daily basis they must deal with poverty, political instability, and religious rivalries. In addition, they are challenged by enculturation and even by the animal kingdom. Sister Pat informed us that in the month of February while driving her truck, she was outrun by herd of 1000 camels. To add to her excitement, she was stopped for four hours on the road and had to patiently wait for a mother elephant to give birth to her calf. And if that wasn’t enough adventure to keep her busy, two of her students took refuge in a tree for a day and a half to outlast a lion’s allure. Finally, but certainly not least, she was happy to find an ostrich egg. It would be able to feed about 40 people, only to be woken up in the middle of the night with the noise of crackling coming from the refrigerator… to their surprise, they found an ostrich.


Ecuador - A vocation is a call from God.


We often hear the phrase, “A vocation is a call from God to every man,” from our mums, priests or nuns!  Now I can understand a little more clearly that the vocation is actually a call that God makes to all His people and that we have the freedom of choice to follow or reject His call. Ultimately, our vocation is to be Christians, and for some to be Christian saints! There are different ways to achieve our Christian vocation within the Church.


In my case, God has called me to live as a Christian religious following the charism of the Salesians of Don Bosco.  I met the Salesians at Don Bosco College of Tola, Ecuador.  From the first moment I saw the Salesians in action, my image of priests changed.  I was flabbergasted to see priests playing in the yard with the children and young people.  They are always present, joyful and give a picture of God in everyday things.


At school I saw and experienced God's love and mercy in the different activities available for us, in particular, the love of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, in our devotion to Mary Help of Christians and Don Bosco. In sixth grade, I chose to volunteer at the Salesian community of Esmeraldas, Ecuador and live in community with them, I observed their work, prayer and daily life.  This was a wonderful experience that helped me grow in my vocation.


By entering the Aspirant, my life changed path.  This was the beginning of my training to be a Salesian.  In the Pre-Novitiate stage, I discovered my full potential as a person and experienced inner healing from difficult life situations.


After my first three years of training, I decided to enter the Novitiate, (a year of spiritual growth and knowledge of the Salesian Congregation); this allowed me to grow stronger in my vocation and in God.  I concluded the Novitiate determined and convinced that to fully live my Christianity, the best way is to be a religious Salesian and let God consecrate me to himself and send me forth to a specific mission.


In these formative years I have had great moments of happiness and personal satisfaction. The Salesians are great people who try every day to live the evangelical ideal. Through this process I have experienced hard times, crisis, discouragement and with the help of God I am always able to overcome these challenges.  God always remained faithful to me as He has personally called me to this vocation.