I am Sr. Joseane Cabral Soares, an MSC from Brazil. Two years ago, I arrived in Melbourne,
Australia, in the state of Victoria. Australia feels like the end of the earth!
When I arrived here in May, 2019, I was deeply desolate, both spiritually and emotionally. The
unexpected deaths of my grandmother, Marisa, and then my father, were a terrible shock and loss for
me. However, even in the face of this terrible grief, I decided to leave for this mission in Melbourne to
The first six months here were difficult for me. It seemed as if a large black cloud was above me the feeling I had was like driving a car on a very foggy day, where I had to go slowly since I could not
see things in front of me. I believe these first six months were essential to rebuild me, make firm my
steps and take on life with resilience and above all, let God assume his role in my life. I want to highlight
the importance of the community in my integration and reconstruction process. During all this time, I
felt respected, welcomed, and loved by Sr. Sharon Casey and Sr. Barbara Staley. They were a reference
for me during my period of turmoil and integration in this new missionary reality. In our lives, it is
essential to assume our internal weaknesses and seek ways to overcome them. The human and
community support that I received from the sisters was important for strengthening me in my personal
process and in learning English.
During these two years of many challenges, in addition to processing my grief, we were surprised
by COVID-19! Everyone had to look for new possibilities, re-invent strategies, and technology was
the greatest ally in this learning journey. After engaging with 16 other students in a lively
atmosphere, we suddenly had to learn online. I struggled to adapt to this new method of learning,
especially in this completely new language for me.
Fourteen months of learning English online was difficult, but possible. I worked, learned, and
survived. Photo: Sr. Sharon (L) & Sr. Joseane (R).
I want to express my eternal gratitude to the MSC Institute for the opportunity it has given me to study English, and to prepare myself to add and contribute to the sisters’ life in the mission in Uganda.
NB: Thanks to Sr. Joseane for sharing her experience with us. The Holy Spirit Region Leadership Team, wish
to express sincere thanks, especially to Sr. Sharon MSC, as well as Guadalupe Province and Cabrini Health
Australia for their support and encouragement for Sr. Joseane during her time in Melbourne.
Thanks to Holy Spirit Region newsletter for this article