By Pat Csinos
Below is a letter that I sent to the editor of the Baltimore Redemptorist magazine PLENTIFUL REDEMPTION. Sita asked me to write it on her behalf and send it to the magazine as suggested by Fr. Leo. It is the telling of how she came to recover her lost earring as a result of having asked our Mother of Perpetual Help to find it for her.
To the Editor of Plentiful Redemption – Baltimore Province
Dear Stephanie Tracy,
This is a story that I’d like to share with you. It follows the reading of the article entitled ‘Lost and Found’ in the summer 2012 edition of Plentiful Redemption.
There are two things that I cannot resist in this world and they are both connected to the same person, Sita Ramlogan. One is her famous homemade cookies, the other is hearing true experiences of faith. Sita is the cook at the Provincial Offices of the Redemptorists of the Edmonton-Toronto Province, now known as the North American Novitiate in Toronto. Many people have had the opportunity when in Toronto, to enjoy some of the wonderful meals that she prepares for the Redemptorists, guests and Novices over the past twelve years.
Although I do not share Sita’s wonderful culinary skills, I do share her devotion to Our Mother of Perpetual Help. I am honored that she has asked me to write to you so that you may know how this short article ‘Lost and Found’ has provided her (and us) with yet another opportunity to experience our Mother’s tremendous love. This is what happened.
Last January, after a day of cooking up a wonderful dinner for the Redemptorist Novices, she decided to stop in at the little clothing boutique across the street before heading for home. She tried on several blouses then headed for home where she discovered that she had lost one of her favorite gold looped earrings. Convinced that she had lost it while trying on the blouses, she was anxious to return to work the next day so she could slip across the street and see if she could find it at the boutique. She entered the shop with great hopes only to be told that no one had found it. Disappointed but still hopeful, she returned the next day only to receive the same news…no earring. A week passed before she returned and still no sign of the earring. At this point, Sita accepted the fact that one of her favorite earrings was gone and with time she was able to put this loss behind her…until last Friday.
After cleaning up from lunch Sita will sometimes take a break and rest her back while sitting at the dining room table. There are always magazines and papers left behind by the Novices and their Directors which Sita peruses for interesting articles. Last Friday she was particularly drawn to the Plentiful Redemption magazine because there were several articles on Our Mother of Perpetual Help in honor of her feast day, June 27, the following week. As her break was coming to an end, Sita flipped the magazine over and there was a small article that caught her eye, entitled ‘Lost and Found’. It was about a woman who lost her mother’s cherished rosary and upon praying to Our Mother of Perpetual Help to come to her aid in finding it, she was graced once again with the possession of this most treasured gift.
Anyone who has visited the Novitiate/Provincial House will recall that there is an icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help on the wall at the far end of the dining room. Sita in her deep devotion to our Mother, is known pray to her through this icon and can be seen ritually touching the icon on her way by to check the book that indicates how many meals she needs to prepare for that day.
Last Friday, when she finished reading the article about the found rosary, Sita looked up at our Mother and said, “Mother, can you get back my earring? I like it so much and I really want it back.” Her break finished, she returned to the stove to start the preparation of the dinner meal for that evening. No sooner did she turn on the stove than she was overcome with the most incredible urge to return to the clothing boutique. She turned off the stove right then and there and walked across the street to the boutique. There was a new lady at the counter so Sita explained that she was not there to buy anything but to inquire if anyone had found the earring she had lost six months earlier. Without hesitation, the young woman opened the drawer to the cash register and slipping her little finger into the corner of the drawer she drew out an earring. “Is this it?” she asked. Sita could not believe that it was indeed the treasured earring that she had lost.
I was not entirely surprised by the outcome of Sita’s story. In awe yes, but not surprised because that is just the way it is between Sita and our Mother!