Friday, May 24 2024

“The joys and the hopes, the griefs, and the anxieties of [all]… especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted…are those of the followers of Christ.” (Gaudium Et Spes 1965)  

Similarly, we answered a call from the Institute to establish a new community in a part of the world where the “Church was not present and the people were materially poor,” the Western American Province sent sisters to the rural Southeast, to Ahoskie, North Carolina. Listening to the people and hearing their concerns and needs, the sisters responded. The sisters set up The Neighborhood Center, which became a hub for services offered to people by the sisters and local health, educational and social service agencies, facilitating the development of much needed networks. The geographical area was large, with few Catholics, one priest and no women religious. The sisters assumed many ministerial responsibilities within the Catholic communities, including the leadership of a mission parish, and were instrumental in initiating many an ecumenical venture. In the late 90’s and early 2000’s sisters from the Western American Province were missioned to Africa, on both a short and long-term basis. They responded to the needs of our Institute in Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. Sisters were missioned to teach and provide pastoral and social services, bringing their skills and gifts to enrich the lives of others while being enriched themselves by these graced experiences.