Meet Sister Mariek
By Sullivan Oakley, Comunity Coordinator at Casa Bayanihan
She is a woman religious from Belgium who came to the Philippines at the age of 29 to work at Tahanang Walang Hagdanan (House Without Stairs), an NGO that provides just and meaningful employment, housing, and education for the differently abled. Sister Marieke is an astonishing woman who has made a life of giving attention and love to the marginalized, to those who have been forgotten. She is a collective memory of the stories and lives of the people whom she has encountered, and her example reminds us of the importance of each person we meet and each moment we share. “They might seem small to you,” she says, “but they aren’t. These small moments mean everything.”
Casa Bayanihan has the privilege of knowing Sister Marieke through Tahanang Walang Hagdanan, which serves as one of our praxis communities that Casa students visit twice a week during their time here (read more about TWH & Casa Bayanihan’s other praxis sites here—>http://www.scu.edu/casa/bayanihan/program/praxis/).
You can find Sister tending to the gardens on the grounds of Tahanang Walang Hagdanan, biking around the property donning her famous tie-dyed jumpsuit and greeting everyone she meets, or sharing the unbelievable stories she has collected from working with the differently abled for more than 40 years.
“I have so many stories,” she repeats, “so many stories…and they are unbelievable.”
We invite you to come to the Philippines. Meet Sister Marieke, and hear some of her stories.