One of the most memorable experiences of my life was being a resident volunteer for 5 months at the Home of Compassion. The Sisters welcomed me with such open hearts and, before long; I felt very much a part of “the family”. While I was there, I had the opportunity to experience a variety of tasks by working alongside the Sisters and, thus, get to hear their life stories.

Since I enjoy gardening, weeding and gathering fresh vegetables for lunch or dinner became a way that I could offer service. By serving the guests who came to the Soup Kitchen, I was able to interact with respect and compassion with those whose lives had taken a hard turn. Working together to “make things happen” was a true experience of community for me.

One of the joys I experienced was being allowed to share my greatest passion with the Sisters…watercolour painting. What a delight to be a witness to the unfolding of the beautiful, creative, artistic expression. In addition, I had the opportunity to help facilitate the art program for developmentally disabled persons at the Compassion Centre.

In my free time, I participated in the drop-in art workshop in Wellington and took a few sight-seeing excursions around the beautiful surrounding area. It was so easy to explore using the great transit and rail system, and occasionally accompanied a Sister to enjoy an ice cream cone by the sea. I spent many hours doing Tai Chi since the Tai Chi Centre was just a few steps from my room at Aubert House.

I feel that I was so fortunate to have been able to live and work at the Home of Compassion. I consider it one of the most blessed gifts in my life, and I look forward to returning.