Commemorating the day of Aguchita’s martyrdom

The Good Shepherd Spirituality Center in Angers, France, is producing a video about Sister Antonia Luzmila Rivas Lopez (Aguchita) in English, Spanish, and French. Sister Virginia Gordon, RGS, is the voice of Aguchita in the English version of the video, and Jeanette McDermott, Communications Coordinator for the Province of Mid-North America, serves as narrator.

Nancy Pereyra, RGS, is on the team of the Spirituality Center. She envisioned, initiated, and directed the project as a way to celebrate the 31st anniversary of Aguchita’s martyrdom. A terrorist group executed Aguchita in Peru on September 27, 1990, for the crime of loving the poor and indigenous people of Peru. Sister Nancy explained how the project began.

Paying tribute to Aguchita’s martyrdom with a video

“The Spirituality Center wanted to celebrate Aguchita at the Motherhouse in Angers. It occurred to me that there was no better way to pay tribute to Aguchita’s memory than to make a video about her in French. So, I got to work on it and wrote the script, and found native French speakers to narrate the video.

Sister Virginia records video script for video about Aguchita's martyrdom
Virginia Gordon, RGS, reads a video script after calling upon Aguchita to give her the strength to be her voice.

“On September 27, we celebrated the day of Aguchita’s martyrdom with the video. The Sisters were delighted because it allowed them to learn more about Aguchita and her family within a vocational and missionary context, as well as the context of her martyrdom. After watching the video, Sr. Marie-Helene Halligon, Director of the Spirituality Center, said to me, ‘The material you have prepared is very good. We should share it with the whole congregation.’

“People offered many ideas for how to do this, including a proposal to put subtitles to the original video. But I did not like that idea. I said to myself, ‘although it will take a lot of time to prepare, I will do it in the three languages of the congregation because each language has its own way of seeing life. It is not the same to subtitle the video as it is to hear voices speaking in Aguchita’s mother tongue, Spanish.’

“And then I felt it was necessary to also record the video in English. For the English version of the video, I thought of the Province of Mid-North America, where I was an international student several years ago. Concretely, I thought of Jeanette and Sister Virginia because I know them from my time in the province and because they are both native speakers of English with good voices. Jeanette is a professional in communications and Sr. Virginia loves Aguchita. I thought they would be perfect.

“The truth is that I really liked working on the project. It is the first video I prepared by myself. I hope it will be ready in the three languages before May 7, 2022. She is in the process of being canonized.”

Jeanette McDermott

Jeanette McDermott

Jeanette is the Communications Coordinator for Sisters of the Good Shepherd Province of Mid-North America. She is a career photojournalist who has served in various capacities of print, broadcast, and corporate communications. Jeanette is devoted to creation and is particularly focused on saving pollinators and other wildlife species and their habitat. She is an ethical vegan and created the website