Our new Eurolink, appointed by the National Team, is Cristina Garcia-Hebson from the Pendle Pilgims CLC (based in Clitheroe in North West England). Christina takes up her appointment with immediate effect. Please keep her in your prayer. She introduces herself below.
Hello CLCers and Cevequianos
I have just taken on the role of Eurolink for the England and Wales National Community and am really excited to get to know many of you and sharing amongst us our initiatives, ideas, motions from the Spirit. I just want to quickly introduce myself:
I was born in Ecuador (Latin America), am one of 3 siblings and grew up spending years inUSA and Ecuador. I joined CLC as a young adult in 1995 after being involved for many years in youth groups at a Jesuit parish in Quito called Parroquia La Dolorosa.
It was through our apostolic mission in social justice projects (marginalised suburban children and young people, indigenous communities, supporting young people with learning disabilities, etc) that we realised the immense personal and spiritual impact volunteer work had on us as volunteers and on the ongoing charitable initiaves. Struck by this realization, within our local community (Amar y Servir) we discerned a call to establish the Ignatian Volunteer programme called SIGVOL (Ignatian volunteer service), which ran around 10 years linking hands and hearts of volunteers with charities running social justice projects throughout Ecuador. This has been the most inspiring time I can personally remember.
After a few of years of belonging to CLC in Ecuador I travelled to Chile to do a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology and there I was blessed with joining CLC Chile and take part in many of their spiritual and social activities (Chile has a very inspiring and mission-active community). There I met my late English husband and we moved to the UK to settle. I then contacted CLC EW and was blessed with joining the then Loyola Hall group (Rainhill, in North West England).
After the sudden death of my then husband in 2007 I entered a challenging period of many relocations as I needed the support of my family. Looking back at my personal history, although life, places and faces changed, the one thing that has always been constant for me has always been CLC/CVX, Ignatian spirituality and my CLC friends from many places in the world. Eventually I came back to the UK in 2010 and contacted Mary Sellers. Since then I re-joined CLC EW and was able to help start the student and young professionals CLC group at the chaplaincy at Manchester Universities.
During this period, I reconnected with the development in my career as a counsellor and was fully commited to raising my daughter Romina. But as life goes on now my daughter is 17 years old and is living in Hertfordshire following her dream of studying performing Arts in college.
I am passionate about my profession and have felt it is my mission to support children, young people and adults with their mental health but, as you can imagine sometimes the emotional demand is quite intense and when pondering about what fuels me and what replenishes my inner peace, serenity, hope and joy I always keep coming back to CLC, prayer and sharing the Spirit.
Another element which influenced in me taking this role has to do with a trip taken with my daughter last year. Travelling by train through six European countries highlighted how fulfilling it is to be able to use my languages (Spanish, English and a bit of French and German) to communicate and connect with people around Europe, so I though that this could lead to something…
I am currently married and we are living in a village called Rishton near Blackburn in Lancashire and am part of the Pendle Pilgrims community. (the photo is of me, my daughter Romina and my husband Dave).
So here I am after taking on the call to engage more with the Europe CLC-CVX communities. Positive news which is full of hope and joy is highly contagious and it is my desire to connect with you and share the light and wisdom you all have.