A Blessed Christmas Season and New Year to you all! As I prepare for the special hour of adoration on December 31st to end the year and welcome in a New Year, I am counting all of the special graces and blessings experienced in our Pauline Mission here in the Southwest!
In October, Sr. Irene Regina and I made an apostolic trip to Las Vegas for ten days. We wanted to share a few pictures that hopefully capture the thirst of the people of Las Vegas for Catholic Resources in English and Spanish (especially Bibles) and their warm welcome and joy to have us there.
We visited three schools during the week and several teachers told us that the children who are born and raised in Las Vegas have never seen Religious Sisters in person!
The Spanish Bible Studies on Thursday Nights at Holy Family Parish have to be held in the Church because approximately 500 people come each week. The Church Hall is not big enough! A new Catholic Church in North Las Vegas is being built and it needs to hold 4,000 people because the area is expanding and the population is growing by leaps and bounds.
The people were still healing from the tragic shooting on October 1st and we saw many signs reading “Vegas Strong”. There is a deep faith among the Catholics of Las Vegas and we thought often, “Where sin abounds, there Grace abounds.”
In November, Sr. Irene and I held a parish book display in San Diego at St. John of the Cross Parish. It is always a joy to return to San Diego with our Pauline Mission! Josie Stanley, our former manager of Pauline Books and Media in San Diego, assisted us with the book display and she will be going on the next mission trip to Las Vegas with Sr. Irene in January. Another person who "God willing" will be assisting Sr. Irene in Las Vegas is one of our Pauline Cooperators from St. Louis, Patti Anderson! In addition to these wonderful lay women, we are in contact with Hispanic families who are in formation for the Holy Family Institute. The Pauline Family is alive and well in Las Vegas!
The day after Thanksgiving, Sr. Irene and I once again packed the van and drove seven hours to Phoenix! We were there five days visiting schools to promote our JClub book fair as well as exhibiting a Parish Book Display at The Church of the Holy Spirit in Tempe. The parents of Sr. Maria Kim Bui came to see us and we enjoyed a couple nights out with them after the evening Masses! Our founder always said that the parents of our Sisters are the first Pauline Cooperators!
On November 30, we headed two hours south to Tucson. It had been several years since we visited that diocese where a brand new bishop was installed the day before we arrived! His name is Bishop Weisenburger and just like Bishop Olmsted of Phoenix, his family is from Kansas.
Sr. Irene and I visited St Augustine High School where we talked to the Juniors and Seniors about our vocation stories and our Pauline life and mission. Sr. Irene was a basketball player in college at St Mary’s in San Antonio. I could see that some of the girls were happy to hear her story and after our talk, they asked their teacher if it would be appropriate for them to invite us to their varsity basketball game that night! Of course we accepted their kind invitation and enjoyed watching their game!
The following day we visited kindergarten through seventh grades at Our Mother of Sorrows School. The kindergarten teacher told us that she became a Catholic because of her many visits to our Pauline Books and Media Center in San Diego when we were downtown on 5th and Cedar. She expressed her gratitude for our mission and it was wonderful to see her living out her love for the Catholic Faith as a kindergarten teacher in a Catholic School in Tucson!
Our weekend parish book display was also at Our Mother of Sorrows parish. So many of the children that we had met on Friday at school stopped by with their parents to purchase books, music, and DVD’s. There are not many Catholic resources available in Tucson so it was beautiful to see the great thirst of the people for our Pauline Mission!
St. Augustine Cathedral in Tucson
St. Augustine Cathedral in Tucson
Feast of Blessed James Alberione
While Sr. Irene and I were on our apostolic trip to Arizona, the Sisters in Culver City hosted a Mass and Dinner on Sunday, November 26 for our Founder’s Feast day. The priests of the Society of St. Paul, The Sister Disciples of the Divine Master, the Pauline Cooperators, and friends were able to join in for the Mass and Potluck dinner that followed. We were with them ‘in spirit’ and we heard that it was a wonderful evening of Pauline fellowship!
Blessed Alberione's Feast Day Mass in Culver City
Thank you Blessed James Alberione for calling us to such an awesome Pauline Mission in the Southwest! Please join us in prayer for the thousands of people we met in these past few months and those who will be meeting us anonymously through the Pauline editions, JClub brochures, Catalogs and Vocational materials left throughout the Southwest. These are like seeds planted in the desert that will blossom into a spring desert that is in bloom!
Sr. Marie James Hunt entered the Daughters of St Paul community in 1981. She is currently missioned in California where she is the local superior of the Culver City community. Sr. Marie James is also the West Coast Coordinator of the Pauline