Dear Editor: Some memories can fade in the wind and some will remain like the place of my infancy that closed its gates. I always return to the home I knew as the Angel Guardian Home. There I stand gazing upon the rustic towering gates remembering my place of security, where orphans rest their cries upon the Sisters of Mercy.
At four months old, I received the sacrament of baptism. Thanks to the Sisters of Mercy, their Christian Ministry instilled my faith to model and evangelize the gifts of the Holy Spirit. By pursuing the role of a catechist for 10 years, I have taught the eighth-grade confirmation class and serve in my church (St. Rose of Lima, Brooklyn) as an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist.
I would like to acknowledge the Sisters of Mercy and all the staff who cared for the innocent orphans. You provided them with the warmth of a caring families, you counseled many youths in crisis and families who faced difficulties. I can vividly recall, as a foster child, my visits to the Angel Guardian Home. I was warmly welcomed with bear hugs by the Sisters of Mercy and counseled in how I was acclimating in the foster home. My eyes would always be fixed on the cross and the Sisters would say, “Jesus is looking out for you because He loves you.” Oh, what a happy feeling I felt as it always remained a memory.
Until this day, His love for me endures the greatest love that it is “Him” I shall follow. As the stars shine brightly among the night sky of God’s creation. I seek a life of mercy so others might see the glowing light of Jesus in me.
God only knows why Mercy First has closed its doors. I cannot be the one to judge, but I know the Sisters’ call to Mercy will continue as they honor their vows to Jesus. They will always remain in my prayers and as will the seniors of Narrows Senior Center. They are the seniors of wisdom telling their stories, the importance of families, how to deal with the difficulties of life, the true meaning of love, being humble and finding God in the little things. This is the cycle of life from infancy to the elderly.
Mercy First will always be the place I call home, as I blow softly on the dandelions whose beautiful yellow flowers give way to a white fluffy flower, I make a wish (with prayers of hope) that Mercy First will be recognized as a landmark. Whatever dwells upon these grounds, may it model a place of Mercy, a place where my continued visits will be treasured memories and not ones of the deep sorrow. May those who enter these grounds feel the seed God planted in all of us. To follow in the Sisters of Mercy footsteps “Where Hope Prevails and Love is Endured” shall always be the gift in my heart like my Guardian Angel, never to part.
SYLVIA RIVERA VECCHIO