Lourdes Ramos

I was born the fourth of five children in Salto, in the north of Uruguay.  We lost my father five years ago, but the bonds that unite us and the sense of being family are very strong and always draw us together.
I entered the congregation in 1992, when I was nineteen years old.  My vocation, my call, was born in a project of the vocation ministry of the diocese of Salto.  This was key in my life, a foundational experience where God found me and called me to follow him without knowing much about what it all was–what I felt, what was drawing me onward.  I got some clarity during a visit with a woman I called, “the poor widow,” like in the Gospel. This woman was the Word of God in my life. In that visit, that woman gave me all that she had to live by.  Through her, Jesus invited me to do the same…to give all that I had–my own life, my relationships, my study, my family and friends. Through her Jesus invited me to give “my two small coins.” That woman, poor and living simply, mediated the presence of Jesus in my life.  She was a call to give, to give my all.
When I entered the congregation, I had an experience of community in the Passo Carrasco neighborhood of Montevideo.  At the end of this, I had to take one more step:  I had to leave my homeland, family, and friends, to go live in Argentina.  That cost me dearly–I had never before left Uruguay.   There, in Argentina, I began to know more about the congregation, the charism, community life, ministry, and myself, too.  It was a time of continuing the process, of allowing Jesus to meet me and of becoming more confident in my call to follow him. This whole time, which I called “Nazareth,” lasted until I made my first vows on February 24th, 1996. From Nazareth, together with your people, I give you my life for the love of your Kingdom.
After the novitiate, I returned to Uruguay. Together with two other sisters, we opened a house on the periphery of Pando, an isolated, poor city.  I lived there for four years of my “Galilee.” It was a time of much learning, much “being with” and being a part of the daily life of the area. They were years of working with others, creating networks, connecting with others.  During this time, I studied a bit of theology and began the study of Social Work.
After many years of being away, I returned to my birthplace, Salto, in 2001.  It was a great challenge to live in my own home town.  There I joined in the youth ministry work of the parish–accompanying and encouraging youth, being with them and being a part of their lives.  It was while here that the time came to leave for my international experience.
I lived in Cuba for four months. This is a great gift in my life and I feel like part of my heart stayed there.  Then, I was in Ireland for two months to further develop my English.  This distinct reality helped my heart to open ever wider to the internationality of the Society.  From Ireland, I went to Rome to live with my sisters and prepare together for making our final vows.  It was an unforgettable experience of going deeper, of strengthening my “yes, forever,” of being an international community and renewing my eternal love for Jesus and his people.  On the 3rd of August, 2003, together with my sisters, family, friends, and the people of my town, I made my profession in Salto, Uruguay. Our name was The Open and Welcoming Heart of Jesus.
On the move again in 2005, I went to live in Reconquista, in the north of Argentina. And there came a desert time of crisis. It was a time to stay put, without seeing ahead, and it was a time to trust.  God sought me and rescued me, he found me and gave me new life. It was a time to touch my depths and return again to the choice I made originally. At the same time, I lived a very profound experience together with those who are among the most poor and that marked my life, my choices, and my dreams.  My call continued to grow stronger to share life with them, to be a part of their world, to work together with them for greater dignity and a more just and equal society.
From Reconquista, I went again to Salto to continue working with and accompanying the youth and young adults there.  I was part of the provincial team and finished my thesis in Social Work.  In November of 2013, after so many years, I finished my studies and closed an important era in my life.  This was a great success that had meant holding on for many years to my deep desire to become a Social Worker.
At this time, I am living in Montevideo in a new community.  It is a new moment in my life and I am finding it very meaningful to be a neighbor and to be a sister together with my sisters. I feel like a new opportunity in my journey with Jesus is coming into being…it is a time to gather and recollect all that I have lived and affirm again the choice I have made.  Those who are the most poor have taught me the ways of Jesus. They’ve taught me how to be, how to welcome, about the value of the simple things in daily living, about the sacred, about the human.  I continue to try bringing about the mission of Jesus and the Kingdom, through living simply with those who are the most poor, through being a sister, and through popular education. May those who are poor and those who are young continue to be my passions and may they continue to challenge me, inviting me ever onward as I follow Jesus.

Section |Profiles|Year of Consecrated Life

Province |Argentina/Uruguay