This week we honour the memory of Sister Irene McCormack RSJ, a Sister of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart who was martyred on Tuesday 21 May, 1991, on mission to the Pueblo people of Peru. On the evening of 21 May, 1991, Marxist guerrillas entered the mountain village of Huasahuasi, Peru and executed Sr Irene along with four other men. Sr Irene had been found guilty of the crime of feeding the village poor.
Mary MacKillop’s Sisters of St Joseph had been in Peru since 1981, living among the poor in the capital of Lima. But it was to an Andean village 270 kilometres away by tortuous mountain roads and 3,200 metres above sea level that Sister Irene and her companion Sr Dorothy Stevenson were called in 1989 to supervise the distribution of emergency goods by Caritas Peru. Sr Irene entered the convent in 1956 at the age of 17 and professed her first vows at age 20. On entering the convent Irene had written a letter to her mother saying,
“...I hope I am not a disappointment to you, but it is my duty to God to follow in his calling no matter where it leads.”
Where is God calling you? Sometimes it may not be where we expect.