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February 15, 2019
Happy birthday ‘Ma’ – you’re 103
February 15, 2019

Ministering to the sick reunites elderly friends

Augustine (left) and Diaz with Fr Grell.

It was a mind-blowing experience for 91-year-old Adiana Augustine and 85-year-old Joyce Diaz, longtime friends as they met each other after 20 years on January 16. Augustine and Diaz, who met while working in Bermudez Biscuit Company, San Juan, had been friends for over 30 years, and after retirement they kept in touch. However, as they grew older, they drifted apart.

Fr Jayson Grell FMI who spends much of his time ministering to the sick saw this as an opportunity to reunite two friends. “Adiana and Joyce would always talk about each other whenever I would visit them. I only saw it as being fit to bring them back to each other,” said Fr Grell.

When the two friends met at Diaz’ home, it was as though they had picked up where they left off  20 years ago. “We spoke about church and reminisced about our young days. It was a surprise and a blessing,” said Augustine.

Augustine, who is a stalwart of St John the Baptist RC Church, San Juan, devoted her life to God and labouring in His vineyard as she was a part of various ministries including the harvest committee and ladies of the sanctuary. “Everyone knew me as the person who sought donations for Church events. I was good at persuading people to give,” laughed Augustine.

“The foundation of our friendship was built on faith and a deep love for God. Joyce and I are both Catholics and we would always go to various Church events throughout Trinidad. I value our friendship because whenever I needed any help Joyce would always be there,[and] vice versa.”

Fr Grell said that it was truly amazing to see the joy expressed by the two friends as they embraced each other after so many years. “These are the things we need to encourage in our communities to bring people together. It takes effort to bring the elderly together but at the end of the day it was certainly worth it,” said Fr Grell.

Asked what advice she would give to young people Augustine said, “Young people now are very different from my time. I would tell them to go to church and pray to God. When any enemy tries to intervene in their lives, they should say the St Michael the Archangel prayer. God never fails us; He sustains us.” – Tenisha Sylvester