Written on: January 14, 2020
A key is very small compared to the door which it is meant to open, but without it we know what happens! So it is with life. Many times a very small thing or event opens a whole new world, if we are willing to trust and risk. That’s what happened the night that God came knocking at the door of Emmanuel Monastery, home of the Benedictine Sisters in Lutherville, Maryland.
On January 1, 2011 a woman, eight months pregnant, forced to flee her home in Afghanistan because her life was in danger was brought to the monastery because there was no room for her in the other established safe homes. On January 6, six days later, Asal (not her real name) gave birth to her first born child and laid him in a cradle provided by the Benedictine Sisters. In the Catholic Church’s liturgical life January 1 is the feast of Mary, Mother of God and January 6 traditionally was the feast of the Epiphany, the manifestation of God’s self to the gentile world in the person of the new born Jesus. Thus, from this prophetic beginning the Asylee Women Enterprise was also born.
Mrs. Molly Corbett, the development consultant for the Benedictine Sisters was the initial key figure who heard and understood, not only the immediate need, but had the vision to create something new that would serve beyond the present need. It was she who suggested that Congregations of Women Religious serving in the Baltimore area be invited to join in this new ministry. Seven congregations responded to the call to partner with the Benedictine Sisters. They are the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart, Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart, Sisters of Bon Secours, School Sisters of Notre Dame, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, Sisters of St Francis of Philadelphia and Sisters of St. Joseph of Philadelphia. To see how this ministry has grown in wisdom, age and grace please click on: End of year letter from Tiffany Nelms, Director of AWE.
The Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart, as one of the founding congregations, continues to support Asylee Women Enterprise, but individual sisters have also supported AWE over the years in various ways. This spring Sister Bridget will hold her second Art Show to benefit Asylee Women Enterprise in partnership with the Sisters of the Redeemer. It will take place at Spark Transformation Center, 521 Moredon Road, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania. Details will be posted when available.