Our First and Most Important Duty Is Love…

…for without love there can be no service“.
Mother Demetrias, Founder of the Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart.

On Sunday, April 23rd, Sr. Elizabeth Langmead, MHSH President, joyfully welcomed approximately 60 people to the annual Donor Appreciation Mass and Brunch at the Mission Helper Center. Sr. Liz thanked our donors for their continued loving accompaniment and support of the ministries of the Mission Helpers, confirming that these are vital to the continued thriving of our varied works.

Rev. George Witt, SJ, Provincial Assistant for Spirituality Ministries of the Maryland Jesuit Province, presided at the liturgy. He reminded the congregation  that after the Resurrection the apostles were sent out on mission to carry on the work of Jesus.  Referencing the words of Acts 1:8,  “You shall be witnesses unto me to the uttermost parts of the earth”, he noted that this is also the call of the Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart.

After Mass, guests and Sisters enjoyed a delicious brunch in the dining room, prepared by Carolyn Rodgers. Patricia Dodd, Mission Advancement Director, thanked the assembled gathering for their loyal support. Two MHSH Sisters, Onellys Villegas and Danielle Murphy, spoke about their ministries, which are made possible in part by the financial support of our donors. Sr. Onellys spoke movingly about her full-time work with women victims of domestic violence through the House of Ruth. Sr. Danielle, now semi-retired, performs visitation ministry through Oak Crest Retirement Community, and also tutors children at the Immigration Outreach Service Center of St. Matthew Parish.

Attendees were given cards created by Administrative Assistant Tom Mackin, each with a quote from Mother Demetrias, including the title quote, above.

“I Will Go, Lord, Where You Lead Me…”*

Mission Helpers Celebrate 325 Years in God’s Service

By Loretta Cornell, MHSH, President

On Saturday, June 9, we celebrate Jubilees—one of the most joyous occasions we Mission Helpers have each year.  It gives us the opportunity to reflect on the lives and ministries of women who have been called by God, and who have responded…

“…I will go Lord, where you lead me
I will hold your people in my heart.”* 

Each of this year’s six Jubilarians has lived the words of the hymn, “Here I Am Lord.” They have gone where God has led them; they have held God’s people in their hearts.  And, they have done much more.

Together they have spent 325 years in God’s service.  Directly or through the many hundreds of people they have trained to teach, these Sisters have introduced God and Jesus and the Church to thousands of youngsters.  They have re-introduced religion to parents and adults and guided non-Catholics on the path to the Church.

And, Sister Dolores has done it all in sign language, too!

They have cared for the children of immigrants and have brought religious education to the children of men and women in the military.  They have been by the side of the dying and grieved with those they left behind.   They have lived and worked with those who have developmental disabilities, ministered in AIDs hospitals and helped refugees find sanctuary.  And, collectively, they hold 10 college degrees.

They have done it all and we salute them:  Sisters Dolores Beere and Maureen McKenna, 70 years; Sister Barbara Wills—who has also been the keeper of the Community’s Archives for the last 36 years—60 years; Sisters Martha Pavelsky and Rita Lynch, 50 years; and Sister Julianne Hau, 25 years.

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They have, indeed, gone where the Lord has called them to go.  And, as Sister Maureen (70 years) says, “God has held us by the hand every step of the way.”

We hold each of them in our hearts.

* Hymn, “Here I Am Lord;” Lyrics by Dan Schutte, S.J.

Mission Helpers Celebrate Jubilees

By Sister Loretta Cornell, MHSH, President

“Do not be afraid, I am with you.

I have called you each by name.  Come and follow me…”

On Saturday, June 18, we will sing these words by David Haas as part of our 2011 Jubilee Celebration honoring the ministries of four Mission Helpers of the Sacred heart.  Each was called by name to follow.  Each responded to the call.

Together, the four Sisters have served the people of God for a total of 220 years bringing joy, hope, consolation, and the words of the Scriptures to thousands of people.  We know they have touched hearts and changed lives, and our world is a better place because they answered that call so many years ago.  They continue to answer it today.

Take a few minutes to read about their lives and their ministries [see below] You will meet Sister Carrie Schindler, raised on a farm and working for the FBI when she answered the call to spread the word of God and be a pastor to His people.

Mission Helper Jubilarians: From the left, Sister María Luz Ortíz, celebrating 50 years; Sister Mary Louise Zaworski, 50 years; Sister Carrie Schindler, 60 years; Sister Mariel Ann Rafferty, 60 years

Sister Mariel Ann Rafferty wanted to be a “missionary of some sort” and spent more than 30 years traveling throughout rural Florida and West Virginia bringing pastoral care to poor parishes.

Sister Maria Luz Ortiz, born in Puerto Rico, knew from a very early age that she was meant to help people in need.  Her 50-year ministry has been one of great service in both the Hispanic and the English-speaking communities in North and South America.

Sister Mary Louise Zaworski was also drawn to religious life at an early age.  By the time she reached high school, her only question was which religious community to enter.

Four Sisters, all very different, all drawn to the Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart where each was able to pursue her own, unique calling.

Please read their journeys and join me and the entire Mission Helper Community in gratitude for these outstanding women.  God has truly called them by name and they continue to be guided by the Holy Spirit.

CLICK HERE to read more about the Jubilarian Sisters.