The book of Ecclesiastes says that there is a time for everything, and today is a time of change. That is why we are here. First, I greet the leadership of the National Institute of Cardiology with deep gratitude on behalf of all my sisters. I especially greet all the staff of the National Institute of Cardiology – Love and Science at the Service of the Heart. Thank you for being here with Sr. Emma, Sr. Cristina, Sr. Luz del Carmen and Sr. María Elena – who will have the difficult honor of being the last sisters of our Congregation in the Institute.
It is a “God-incidence” [coincidence] that we celebrate the Sesquicentennial of our Congregation and the 75th anniversary of the Institute in the same year.
However, the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word are in mourning today.
How can I put the right words to this moment? It has been very hard for me to find them!
There are so many memories, moments, names, anecdotes… There are the names of two of our sisters in the national monument dedicated to eminent Mexicans who contributed to medicine. There is so much that fills us with pride, and even though religious should be humble, today we are proud, the good kind of pride. Together with the National Institute of Cardiology, along with Dr. Ignacio Chavez, our sisters are a significant part of the history of Mexican medicine. We celebrate their accomplishments for what they mean, accomplishments that fill the soul with gratitude for the collaboration, the people, the opportunities. Accomplishments we are saddened to leave behind. Accomplishments which deepen our grief, and cover our hearts with mourning.
But there is also so much, so much, few of us know. Those moments only patients and their nurses know: the merciful comfort received on those endless nights because of the pain and confusion, the simple visit after hours of anxious loneliness, the kind smile right before entering the operating room. This place is full of moments which will never have words, which gently gave live to a culture of dignity, respect and quality. The National Institute of Cardiology is the sum of those small moments of determination, dedication, and service. These are the moments that most distinguished our sisters and that will leave a much deeper mark than the names on buildings, the national awards, or the dedicated bronzes, because they are moments sealed in the soul of the Institute.
But sisters are women of faith and we know that this time of grace, service, and dedication does not end, that it will continue to bear fruit. We, sisters, believe Jesus asks us once again “Do you believe I am the Resurrection?” So as we are sad and with a grieving heart, I know all my sisters will smile with the same spark of Sister Mary Suarez, or Sister María del Roble, or Sister Martha Elena, and respond: “Yes, Lord, I do believe.” That is why today is also a day of hope, because all of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word who loved and served all of humanity here in the Institute, sowed seeds of hope in patients, doctors, administrators, nurses, teaching and housekeeping staff, in security guards and so many other people. This is why Dr. Gaspar not only insisted we stay, but asked us to draft a proposal for future inter-congregational collaboration with the Institute. This is undoubtedly one of those seeds, because the Federation of Religious Nurses of Mexico was created by sisters of the Incarnate Word who collaborated in the Institute – and thus, we will find other ways to collaborate here with other sisters.
Our sisters at the National Institute of Cardiology sowed seeds we will not know how or where they will bear fruit. We are here because we all have an anecdote to share, we all have a debt with one of them. Now, it is our turn to pass this spark on to the next generation; now we are called to serve as custodians of the soul of the Institute in their name.
The mission never ends; it is only transformed. Now this mission is your responsibility. The memory of the collaboration of Dr. Ignacio Chavez and the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word is not history; it is an obligation to the future.
Today, this transition will make sense only in the daily effort of all the staff of the Institute who I am certain are proud of the soul that has distinguished it and will continue to give life and hope to many generations of Mexicans in the years to come.
Thank you for the integrity, dedication, and honesty with which you will maintain this flame alive, because when there is meaning, there is a future!
There is a time for everything; it is time for change.
You will always be part of the Incarnate Word family. Thank you.
Click here to read the Farewell words from of M. Sandra Olvera, Director of Nursing, National Institute of Cardiology, Mexico.