Follow usTwitterFacebook

Latest

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

22 Aug 2016 Middle East - Africa News USA Vatican No comments

Christians tied and Hacked to Death for their Faith

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has seen a dramatic rise in Christian persecution, leaving at least 36 Christians hacked to death. According to the Ca…

Read more
An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

30 Jul 2016 News Comments (2)

French imam says priest’s killers ‘are not part of humanity’

Muslims and Catholics joined in Friday prayers at a mosque in the Normandy town where Fr Jacques Hamel was killed Muslims and Catholics joined in Friday prayer…

Read more
An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

17 Oct 2014 Q&A Comments (2)

Did the Church move the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday?

Catholics do not worship on the Sabbath which is the last day of the week according to Jewish teaching, when God rested from work after creation (Gen. 2:2-3). W…

Read more
An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

30 May 2015 Articles Resources No comments

The Church and Capital Punishment

Years ago, my wife and I were at a fundraiser for a candidate who was then running for President of the United States, and I struck up a conversation with a Cat…

Read more
An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

21 Sep 2014 Articles Comments (2)

Immaculate Conception and Assumption

The Marian doctrines are, for Fundamentalists, among the most bothersome of the Catholic Church’s teachings. In this tract we’ll examine briefly two Marian doct…

Read more
An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

10 Sep 2015 Articles Comments (26)

The Rosary and its Origin

The Rosary is one of the most cherished prayers of our Catholic Church.  Introduced by the Creed, the Our Father, three Hail Mary’s and the Doxology (“Glory Be”…

Read more
An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

19 Feb 2016 Asia-Pacific News USA Vatican No comments

Armenian Catholic Church destroyed in Turkey

On Feb. 14, reports emerged that the Armenian Catholic Church of Diyarbakir had suffered extensive damages during clashes between Turkish armed forces and Kurdi…

Read more
An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

17 Dec 2015 News USA No comments

New Auxiliary Bishop of the Dallas Diocese Welcomes 'Call to Service'

Pope Francis has appointed Dallas priest Monsignor John Gregory Kelly to become the newest auxiliary bishop of the Dallas Diocese. Bishop Kevin Farrell of Da…

Read more
An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

28 Sep 2015 Uncategorized No comments

Help youth be brave in opting for marriage and family, Pope tells bishops

Pope Francis told bishops Sunday that a widespread consumerism and desire to follow new fads has rendered youth fearful of commitments, and said that as pastors…

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
«
»

Six sisters who serve American Indian village in Arizona feel blessed

Sister Pamela Catherine Peasel is a rarity in modern Catholic religious life.

She’s in her 30s — only 1 percent of women religious are. And she’s an elementary school teacher. Fewer than 2,000 women religious — 2 percent of all sisters — teach in U.S. Catholic grade schools.

Yet she said she’s joyfully where she needs to be and is not discouraged by the few number women choosing religious life.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say there’s a drop in vocations as much as there is a drop in the ‘yes’ — you know, the response to the call,” she told Catholic News Service during a recent interview at St. Peter Indian Mission School in Bapchule. “I think God is calling and calling and calling.”

Life’s many choices can be overwhelming to young people. Considering religious life is a challenge for most, she said.

“It’s having to center your heart in prayer, listening for that call and then responding to it. The more we live that joyful attitude, I think that’s a big attraction to our life.”

Sister Pam first stumbled upon the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity online, taking an interest in the order’s website.

She attended a retreat at the sisters’ Holy Family Convent in Wisconsin in 2007 to learn more, to hopefully find a community where she would be “most at home.”

Seven years later, she took her final profession with these words:

“In complete devotion and in a response to love, I, Sister Pamela Catherine Peasel, vow to God to live for the whole time of my life the counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience according to the rule and life of the brothers and sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis and the constitutions of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity.”

Now she ministers at St. Peter School in the Gila River Indian Community with five other members of the order. Located in the Sonoran Desert 35 miles south of Phoenix, the reservation is home to the Akimel O’otham and Pee Posh people whose roots go back to the ancient Hohokam.

It’s “very unusual” to have six sisters from one community serving in a single primary school, said Sister Martha Mary Carpenter, principal and junior high teacher. “Our mission of St. Peter’s is blessed with more sisters than any other school in our community.”

St. Peter’s School opened in 1923 with a dozen students. It now has 213 children in preschool through eighth grade. The Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity have run the school since 1935.

In addition to the standard studies and religion class, the sisters added an extra hour to the school day for students to learn native language, customs and traditions from community elders.

“Our aim is to raise up our kids and nurture our kids so that they will give loving service. That they will be peacemakers. That they take all the skills they have to make this community, the Gila River Indian Community, a better place,” Sister Martha said.

Bapchule has a population of just more than 2,300, almost entirely Native American. It is one of the most impoverished areas in Arizona with more than half of its people living below the federal poverty line.

Besides teaching and administrating the school and parish, the sisters assist the larger village too. They house a food pantry in the school cafeteria, ready to hand out groceries to anyone in need.

If the bustle of modern society drowns out religious callings, Sister Pam and her Franciscans contemporaries say they want to rise above that, being examples of joyous service to God and others.

“A religious sister for myself is giving my life over, completely over, to God and to Christ and serving others in the name of Jesus, spreading that joy,” said Sister Pam.

Sister Martha rarely leaves a conversation with someone without a “God bless you!”

“Being a religious sister means that I am an instrument in (God’s) hands,” she said. “To love his children, to create community, to include everyone in his love, and to let everyone I interact with know how much God loves them.”

Serving with Sister Martha and Sister Pam are Sisters Barbara Jean Butler, Carol Mathe, Maria Goretti Scandaliato and Thereselle Arruda.

Virginia Ortiz calls them “remarkable.”

Ortiz, a teacher’s aide and mother, has three children enrolled at St. Peter. She appreciates the environment that the sisters have established there. It’s faith-filled and encourages respect for others, she said.

“When you work here at St Peter’s, you wear a lot of hats. I’m not only a teacher’s aide, I’m also a driver for our west-end kids,” Ortiz told CNS. “I also help in the dining room. We help clean up wherever we need to.”

The sisters are no exception.

“They do get their hands just as dirty as we do. … Sisters do a lot here, more than anybody. More than anyone can expect.”

The work of the sisters has attracted some high-profile benefactors. Baseball legend Joe Garagiola Sr. and J.F. Shea Co., a large privately held home builder, have been generous to the school.

St. Peter offered preschool for the first time this school year thanks to Shea Homes, which built a preschool classroom and playground and added several other improvements to the campus.

As for their public profile, the Bapchule sisters recently began a FaceBook page and Sister Pam has produced some videos about the school. And, from time to time, they get out of Bapchule still dressed in their everyday black and white garb.

“When we go someplace together … people stop us and say to us, ‘Thank you for being sisters. Thank you for being so happy. Thank you for serving. Thank you for wearing the habit.'” said Sister Martha.

“We’re very recognizable wherever we go,” she added, and then with a chuckle said, “We’re very recognizable, so we have to behave.”










wpsd_autopost:
1

Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories