My name is Concepción Mateos Brito, but everyone calls me Conny. I’m a Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I was born in Mexico City but I grew up in Monterrey. I come from a very ordinary family, I’m the fourth of six children and I had the opportunity to study in Catholic Schools up to University. I am passionate about basketball, have always loved films, am a tireless contemplator, an adventurer and a risk taker. I might say that I am one more person in the world, like other women who feel pride in their own identity and who share with others the dream of making a better world. I entered religious life at 27 having had a boyfriend, studied at University and taken a Master’s degree. I had led a healthy and pleasant life and, thanks to my job, my life was always been grounded in reality.
During my pre-university studies, there were moments in which I heard about missionaries who decided to work in favor of the most vulnerable persons. This caught my attention and silently I asked myself if this option was for me. However, I thought only God could give me an answer. Time passed and this question was like background music, even when I was carrying on with my life and doing the things that everybody else was doing: study, work, finishing my Master’s degree, going out with friends, etc. Unexpectedly, during a mission, I met the Religious of the Sacred Heart and I felt something moving in my heart. At that point I decided to take the question seriously. I started praying more. I went to a couple of retreats. I talked with some persons I trusted. My question was always the same: “What does God want for me?” Hearing no answer from God exasperated me. One day, in the middle of a mission, while I was praying alone in the middle of a desert, I realized I was formulating the question in the wrong way. It was not just about “What does God want for me?” but also “What do I want for me?”, “Where would I be happier, fulfilled, authentic, committed and free?”. And that moment was a profound experience of deep joy and peace. I still remember my heart beating with emotion, I felt myself overflowing with the presence of a God who wished for me something I strongly DESIRED.
At that moment I realized my aptitude for love is enormous and that this source rises from my own experience of feeling loved. So, I suddenly identified myself with the charism of the Sacred Heart and I said YES, this is what I want for all my life. I could see myself happy, living in community, praying, working for ordinary simple people, being myself and that is how it has been up to the present time. I’m sure that I am where I want to be and that God is accompanying me in this madness.
I’ve always been attracted by young people so, during my novitiate, I had the opportunity to accompany groups of teenagers in the suburbs of León, Guanajuato. Once I made my first vows, I was sent to the School of the Sacred Heart in Mexico City where I worked as a College Counsellor, a catechist and also spent time organizing mission groups.
At that time I also had the chance to participate in various workshops at a national level for university leaders. Some cities invited me to give a presentation or to accompany a group. In my heart I keep an endless number of faces, names and experiences that left a trace.
When the moment arrived to make my international experience I asked to be sent to the province of Uganda-Kenya where I might work especially with young people and teenagers. This was one of the biggest gifts I’ve ever received. I felt extremely privileged. I collaborated in our boarding school for girls in Kangole, Moroto, Uganda. Here I could touch my humanity. I could live near these women, in an unmistakable mix of fragility and strength; the mystery of life and death. Finally the words of Pablo de Tarzo made sense: “God’s strength is expressed in weakness”. A tangible presence of the living God.
At that moment I was ready, I could express a definitive YES to following Jesus in the Society of the Sacred Heart. I pronounced my perpetual vows on the 1st of February 2009.
When I returned to the Province, I was sent to start a project with young people from the Schools of the Sacred Heart. The next year, I was appointed to the team of Directors of the School Network in the Province for three years. Also during these years I continued to collaborate in pastoral care at the University of Monterrey. Today I am responsible for the project with youth in our schools and part of the Vocational Group and Initial Formation Group in the Province.