Almost immediately, Kristen's hope was answered. Holy Family Institute member and lay Coooperator Louise Ketchum Hunt wrote us in the hopes that she might share her own story and that of her husband, also a Cooperator and HFI member. What a delight! As your read our interview with Louise, consider if yours might be the next story to keep the baton going. We want to hear from you...
Pauline Laity Blog (PLB): What motivated you to share your story of becoming a member of the Pauline Family with your husband Jim?
|A truly Pauline family: James Hunt, |
Sr. Marie James Hunt, and Louise K. Hunt.
Louise Hunt (LH): I came across Kristin Filipic’s article, "Why Cooperate?", in this blog. I wished to share my story also, as a member of the Pauline Cooperators since 1980 and a member of the Holy Family Institute with Jim since 2008.
PLB: My goodness, that is a whole thirty-six years ago. How did you first come in contact with the Pauline Family?
LH: In 1977, my 12-year old daughter Anne Marie and I were at the Arlington Diocesan annual education conference volunteering at the Pro-life display. We saw Sisters at another display selling books. We walked over to talk with them and found they were the Daughters of St. Paul from Philadelphia. That exchange led to the past thirty-six years of involvement with that order, the Daughters of St. Paul. We became Cooperators, first helping Mother Paula Cordero set up their store on King Street in Alexandria.
PLB: What else?
|First fruits of the Apostolate: Sr. Marie James Hunt,|
Louise & Jim's daughter
LH: Well, then, our daughter Anne Marie decided to enter the Daughters of St. Paul. She is Sr. Marie James Hunt.
PLB: Amazing and wonderful. How did that come about?
LH: When we were talking to the Sisters at the Arlington conference, Sr. Antoinette asked Anne Marie if she ever thought of being a Sister. She didn’t know what to say. Sr. Antoinette asked for her address and told her that she would send her information about visiting them in Philadelphia. Letters followed from the Sisters. I had a friend whose teenage daughter wanted to be a Sister but couldn’t locate a Congregation that would take high school girls. When I learned that the Daughters of St. Paul had a high school program at the Motherhouse in Boston, I gave the information to my friend for her daughter. That summer of 1978 that girl and the daughter of another friend both entered religious life in Boston. One of them was Sr. Annette Boccabello, who died in 2012, and the other is Sr. Kathryn Hermes.
PLB: It sounds like God was writing straight with crooked lines, as always. Then what happened?
LH: The tie that brought Anne Marie to enter was visiting the two postulants who entered in 1978. We made trips to Maine where I had family. Anne Marie flew to visit the Sisters during the Easter retreats, also. After her fifth return trip home from Boston, at age 15, she said that she wanted to give it a try since she had questioned and seen what her life would be with the Daughters of St. Paul. A month before her 16th birthday, she was accepted and entered the Congregation.
PLB: That is certainly a wonderful fruit of your involvement with the sisters!
LH: Yes it is. And we continued to help the sisters and to promote vocations. Over the years we gave our support to the different Pauline events in Virginia and Boston. Mother Paula made the parents welcome. At least three times we volunteered to drive girls to Boston in our big van for the Easter Retreats. I remember the time when we had about six young ladies with us.We stopped for lunch. A man came up to ask if they were a dance troupe going to New York. Of course, they all burst out laughing! One of the girls was Sr. Mary Grace. She told her classmate about Boston and after visits, she entered. Today she is Sr. Carmen Pompei.
PLB: You sound like a two-person recruiting team! You and Jim must have trusted the Daughters of St. Paul very much.
LH: As a mother of a Daughter of St. Paul, I often thought of the older Italian Daughters who were there when Anne Marie entered religious life. They were the ones who took over raising my child. Letting her go to do what she believed was right for her, required great faith from Jim and I. God gives us these children and we aren’t supposed to keep them with us unless that is their desire.
Some parents would comment, “What does a girl know about making decisions when she is so young?” We think that the decision has to do with answering a call that God puts in the hearts of those He wants. That call is a serious thing that has to be answered. Now we have our Sr. Marie James who will celebrate 35 years of religious life since entering the Daughters of St. Paul. She has never changed in who she is in our family. Our home has grown rich in love and graces bestowed upon us as her mother and father, and in a way as parents of all of the Daughters of St. Paul.
PLB: You are a registered nurse, an RN. Has that played a role in your collaboration with the sisters?
LH: Oh, yes. During this time, we became close to Mother Paula Cordero. One of the novices was an RN. Mother Paula wanted to establish an Infirmary for the care of the Sisters as needed. Jim and I made trips to Boston to talk about the plan and it was finalized.
As Mother Paula endured major illnesses, she became weak and was hospitalized at times. I told the young nurse to give me a call if they brought Mother Paula home in her last days. About a week before she died, I went to Boston to help care for her. Her doctor told me that she didn’t have a long time to live. We made her comfortable. The Sisters who had been at her side for many years remained close to the bedside praying for her.
I had done private duty nursing in homes before hospice care was initiated. The family requires care as much as the dying person, so I was there to see that all was done well and give comfort to the Sisters. I was called to Mother Paula’s bedside shortly after midnight. As with many who die without heavy medication, Mother Paula was propped up in bed and looking at the Sisters gathered in the room. She was trying to talk to them and then she died.
PLB: What a privilege to attend Mother Paula at her death. And so you and Jim worked from 1980 to 2008 as Cooperators with the Daughters of St. Paul, helping them in their Alexandria mission. Then what happened?
LH: In 2008, we went to New Jersey for a Cooperator’s meeting that was about Fr. James Alberione, our Founder. There I was invited to consider becoming a member of the Holy Family Institute (HFI). Jim and I prayed and talked about the HFI, and then decided to see what it was about. We wrote our letter to Fr. Tom Fogarty SSP, the HFI Spiritual Director. We began our daily life of Pauline prayer, looking forward to taking the vows of consecrated man and wife.
Now we are in our seventh year of preparation to make our perpetual vows as members of the Pauline Holy Family Institute on September 18, at the gathering of the annual HFI Triduum in Canfield, Ohio. Pray for us!
PLB: The Pauline mission is to be modern St. Paul’s and use every means of communication to bring Jesus Christ, Way, Truth and Life to the modern world. How do you carry out this mission of evangelization?
|Recent fruit of the Apostolate:In the Shadow|
of the Steel Crossby Louise Ketchum Hunt
PLB: Was it difficult bringing your book from manuscript to publication?
LH: Here is how things happen when you ask for help to solve a problem. Last July, a Daughter of St. Paul in Metarie, La. handed me a card left there by a Friar who was supporting the work of a Catholic publisher in Phoenix. At that time, I was finishing my manuscript, but didn’t have a publisher. The name of the publishing company is Vesuvius Press and Amor Deus, which translates from Latin as "The Love of God", is the imprint under which my book is published. If anyone wishes to have a copy of my book, go to
Click here to read a review of In the Shadow of the Steel Cross by Louise Ketchum Hunt.
PLB: Thank you, Louise! Blessings on all of your efforts. One of this blog's editors has already acquired a copy of your book, and the other will make a point of getting it also. We look forward to a great and inspirational.
Rae Stabosz has been a member of the Association of Pauline Cooperators since 2003. She and Bill Stabosz, her husband of 46 years, have six sons, three daughters, nine grandsons and seven granddaughters; they eagerly await the birth of grand #17. Rae retired in 2007 from the University of Delaware, where she was a technology and media specialist for 27 years. She is co-founder and past president of The Society of Catholic Scholars of Delaware and proprietor, since 2004, of the Pious Ladies Bookmobile.