To be, or not to be – that is the question….
It allows me to see God’s providence at work in how I found myself in Pompeii.
Soon it will be 6 years since, thanks to the trust of the Mother General and the Provincial Sister of the time, I was able to undertake this nursing mission here in the world-famous Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary. Providence, thanks to Sr. Immakulata and the sisters from Jaszkotle and my friends from the ZOL where I worked, a few years earlier I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Over a year of hard work allowed me to apply for service in this sunny Italy, where a place awaited me at the dispensary of Our Lady of the Rosary.
To be here, however, the only thing that was missing was the administrative approval of the ministry in Italian. I did not know the Italian language. So I started my first steps in the center of the cradle of Christianity – in Rome with my mission of learning the language. Great emotions, but also fears – will I be able to learn the language, culture, and especially medical nomenclature within a few months. Permanent formation and mutual support as a sister allowed me to find myself in the international community, as well as to realize the meaning of the words of Creed: I believe in the One, Holy and Apostolic Church for which the martyrs shed their blood in the Colosseum arena.
Finding Sisterhood Unity in our small Polish-German-African community began with common prayer, Holy Mass, recreation, work and celebration of common meals. Our mutual trust made the gifts of the Holy Spirit bear fruit. Then I started learning the language in a “larger” international community at a language school. Also, going to Corsica and working with my sisters there helped me “polish” my acquired Italian language skills.
After 6 months of experience, the time has finally come to start the next and final stage of religious life, and to start nursing in Pompeii.
I started my work in the hospital with a 3-month volunteer work so that I could get to know everything. Unfortunately, after my arrival, it turned out that my language learning is obviously not enough and people speak fast and they have their own dialect. In fact, I started to learn from scratch, being among people, learning new professional vocabulary, often in the Neapolitan dialect. Fortunately, everyone was very nice and open, and responded to mine with great kindness linguistic mishaps or complete lack of words and incomprehension. I spent every free moment after volunteering learning all these professional names of equipment and tools, because I was waiting for an exam at the Nursing Chambers. I received great support from Sr. Goretti, who at that time was in surgery ward. She patiently tried to show me everything, explain what I am very grateful for. I remember the day of the ward exam, I was afraid, but I entrusted it to God through Mary. As the sisters could not come with me, Rosaria and Mario (friends from the hospital) accompanied me. Thanks to God’s help, I was able to pass it positively and from December I started working full-time.
People welcomed me very warmly. Their openness, willingness to help and cooperation built me up and uplifted me in the moments of total misunderstanding of the mentality and needs of the local type of patients. Despite all the cultural, linguistic and characterological differences, we all join in prayer for our families (sorrows and joys are intertwined everywhere) for our religious family.
Every day we experience kindness from the owners of the dispensary, openness from employees and patients, thanks to whom we bravely stay in the designated section of work – Sr. Goretti currently as a gynecology and obstetrics department, and I work in all departments depending on the needs: surgery, gynecology , nephrology, ophthalmology, endoscopy, geriatrics.
We start our day at 6:00 with common prayer in the hospital chapel: breviary, meditation and Holy Mass at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary. We start working at 8:00 am because I often have afternoon shifts. We also end the day with a common prayer at 8 pm. On Sunday we usually have a day off from work, which we can spend in permanent formation under the mantle of Our Lady and taking advantage of the spiritual care of the Franciscan Fathers.
I think that the most effective form of proclaiming the Good News is by giving witness with your own life. We can show the “practical” dimension of faith, which manifests itself mainly in serving the sick.
Despite the many difficulties related to the language barrier, cultural differences and mentality, I found myself in the reality of this country.
My mission is to meet a specific person, with his illness, with his life history, with everything that hurts him and what is important to him.
My mission is to stay close to man, it is an attempt to bestow on him a selfless love, the love of God.
I am very lucky that I can work and do what I really love, that I can be in a place where Mary is present in a special way and entrust myself to her and the people with whom I have come to work and serve.
S.M. Magdalena Delczyk