Sister Lourdes Marie Miranda
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Sr. Lourdes Marie Miranda

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Date of Profession:
March 13, 1976

Influences:
Sister Gertrude Mary of the Sacred Heart, a Little Sister of the Poor who is now provincial of the community’s Chicago Province.

Interests:
Good conversation and history

Best thing about being a sister:
Living in community and the prayer life.

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“Prayer is the most important thing.”

When Sister Lourdes Miranda went to high school, she says, “I did like everybody else – had fun.”

But she never completely forgot the Sacred Heart Home in Mobile, Ala., where, as a fourth-grader, she had first encountered the Little Sisters of the Poor and their mission of caring for the aged poor.

At the home, she recalls, “I just felt . . . a lot of calm and peace. There was something there that I couldn’t describe.”

Sister Lourdes was in college studying nursing when she felt a pull to go back to the Little Sisters’ home. “There was this draw, this force, you know.” One of the sisters at the home, Sister Gertrude Mary, particularly impressed her. “She was very spiritual,” Sister Lourdes says. “There was something about her that really said . . . ‘God is really in our community . . . And I said, ‘Well, gosh, I think this is what I want to do – be present to others as Jesus was present to others in his time.’”

Soon after, she entered the Little Sisters of the Poor as a postulant in Baltimore in 1973. “Just like that,” she quips.

It was only later as a novice that she struggled with her decision. “I even waited to make profession six months because I kept saying, ‘Well, maybe I shouldn’t do this.’ . . . You know how you get this little temptation to draw back? But I knew what I wanted because I knew that’s what God wanted.”

When she made her final vows three years later, the Cuban-born nun began an odyssey that has taken her to three continents over the last three decades. She has served with the Little Sisters, who have 206 homes around the world, in France, Colombia, South America, and in the United States in Richmond, Va., Cincinnati, O., and Indianapolis, Ind. Currently, she is a supervisor in the nursing unit at the Sacred Heart Home for the Aged in Oregon, O., near Toledo.

Under her vow of obedience, Sister Lourdes can be moved to a new location at any time. Before she came to the Toledo area, she had been in Indianapolis for 10 years. “I made a lot of friends in the residents and the community, and it is difficult [to move],” she says. “At the same time, it is God’s will. That’s why I’m here.”

Sister Lourdes says she could not do what she does without prayer and indeed, a glance at her schedule, which starts at 5:15 a.m. and ends at 9:45 p.m., shows prayer is the glue that holds her day together. “Prayer,” she says, “has to be at the center of everything, like Christ.”

She begins each day by checking on the residents on the nursing unit to see how they did overnight and then joins the other sisters in the chapel for morning meditation.

The rest of her day alternates between duties on the nursing unit and times of prayer, whether it is Mass, morning, evening, or night prayer with her community, saying the Rosary, or adoration before the Blessed Sacrament.

“It’s really like a chain,” Sister Lourdes says. “It’s intertwining the prayers with the work. One doesn’t work without the other.”

Sister Lourdes meets with the other sisters in her community for meals and for a daily 45-minute recreation period during which everyone talks and shares the happenings of the day. Those who like to knit or pursue other hobbies can use the time for such interests, but Sister Lourdes prefers to talk and hear what everyone else has to say. The sisters also watch films and play games during recreation and, several times a year, go on a community outing. In addition, each sister has a personal free day each month as well as a retreat day.

Although her days are demanding and seemingly contain little time for the kinds of diversions that have become part of contemporary culture, Sister Lourdes exudes a bubbly joy that is contagious.

Asked how this can be, she replies, “It’s all for God. It’s not for me. I’m serving him in the elderly poor and prayer keeps me going.”

Nonetheless, Sister Lourdes wasn’t always certain she had what it takes to live out her vocation. “When I look back when I was a novice, I said, ‘I don’t know how I’m going to do this,’ but it grows. It grows in you.”

 
   
 


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