We can learn precious lessons from what this Franciscan Missionary of Mary experienced and learnt by working for HIV-positive children. With this article, we launch a new column, “Moving to the Margins (Peripheries)”, something Pope Francis has been repeatedly asking religious to do. MAGNET welcomes other contributions about ministry among the most disadvantaged—prisoners, street children, trafficked persons, palliative care, …. — Editor
All of us raise this question when we face tough situations in life. This question haunts us when we become a victim to certain VERY HARD SITUATIONS.
I live and work among children affected by AIDS. When I was asked to take up this ministry, a lot of thoughts disturbed my mind… fear of the severity of the disease, fear of social stigma, fear of its contagious nature, etc. With all these disturbing thoughts in my mind, I said ‘Yes.’ Actually, when I looked at this ministry from far, it seemed frightening. Now it has changed my attitude completely.
Living with these children, who contracted AIDS through no fault of their own, taught me much. It has changed me profoundly.
You may wonder about the question: WHY ME?
Yes, this is the question we need to answer day in and day out to every child living with HIV. We run a home for the HIV-infected girl children and a rural health centre. It is situated twenty-three kilometres from Namakkal in Tamil Nadu.They are school-going children from 3rd std to 12th std, studying in the Government schools. We take the children referred by GOs, NGOs and any infected child in need of our care and support.
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Sr Antony Mary FMM