By Annie Klapheke
I recently found myself waking up in Anapra, Mexico, after a sleepover with Reyna, a five year old girl with Down syndrome, and Sister Carol, a member of my local community. It was one of those moments when I couldn’t help but ask myself, ‘How did I get here?’
I am in my first year of formation with the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. I live in our initial formation house located in Anthony, New Mexico, just 14 miles from the US-Mexico border. One ministry of my local community is Proyecto Santo Niño, a center for children with special needs in Anapra, Mexico. Reyna has been coming to Santo Niño since she was 2 weeks old, and she is now thriving in her first year of Kindergarten. Sister Carol frequently stays overnight with Reyna and her family at their home in Mexico. I joined Carol in order to step a little deeper into the lives of these special people.
It was a cold November night in a simple home without heat, but Reyna, Carol and I stayed warm tucked together in a double bed. I woke up to Reyna’s little arm flung across my face, and I simultaneously woke up to a realization: Religious life gives me the opportunity to encounter and love people whom I otherwise would have never known.
I’m waking up to see the world through new eyes: the eyes of Christ.
Name: Annie Klapheke
Congregation: Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati
Stage of formation: Affiliate
Hometown: Middletown, OH
Current Ministry: Dietitian