Meet Sister Samia - Saint Coeur Sisters in Syria
My name is Sr. Samia Jreij – I was born in Ozeir, Syria on the 17th of January, 1980
My decision to become a sister was made in my childhood, I’ve grown up within a Christian family committed in the Church who taught me how to pray and how to love Jesus. Our house is close to the church, thus, I spent most of my time in it. I entered into the congregation on the 1st of November 2000. My family respected and understood my decision. They encouraged me and prayed for me with inner deep joy. I still remember their words full of faith. My father said: “this vocation is from God, how we can stand against it. It is a blessing when I present one of my own flesh and blood to God”. My friends and relatives had various opinions towards my decision. Some accepted joyfully and some thought that it was a kind of madness and wasting chances of life. Our congregation serves all denominations, it works for humanity and serves according to Ignatius' spirituality these things drew me to join.
We are six sisters divided into two places: St. Savior convent and an Old-age Center. We are Syrians and Lebanese.
We meet every week to pray and share our experiences.The St. Savior community has been built by Sr. Nada Maqdisi: she is responsible of the convent and works in the kindergarten of the convent; Sr. Josephine: she works teaching the catechism with all ages and myself / Sr. Samia: I work with handicapped young people and families who have returned in the old city of Homs.
The Old-Age Center community has 3 sisters serving the old-aged persons and has 30 employees.
The sisters choose to devote their lives for the sake of Jesus through serving the souls in need.
The oldest sister is Sr. Valentine. She has served for 68 years in the congregation. Her motto is “serving Jesus Christ with humility and disappearance”. She chose to be a sister to serve Jesus through serving brothers and sisters. Her advice is “to serve the humanity for sake of Love not for Selfishness”.
Our challenge is a lack of vocations, which affect our life as sisters because we have a lot of work to do without enough time. However recently big joy we experienced was when 2 sisters entered the congregation. We felt that there are still persons responding to God’s vocation.
Testimonies from the community about the Sisters:
‘We can feel the loving presence of the sisters through how they respond to our needs'
‘We learned how to pray and touched the face of Jesus through their lives’
‘We can’t imagine the convent without the sisters’
‘They are good listeners and they are present in the times of joy as well as in the times of sadness’